Unforgettable Ireland : Bettie, Glendalough of Wicklow & Powerscourt

Bettie

One of the most memorable experiences of the trip was meeting with Bettie. Bettie is Grandpa Jack’s first cousin or my husband’s first cousin second removed. Even though he had no memory of the occasion, my husband had met with Bettie many years ago in the states when he was little but I had never met Bettie till this trip.

It is a fantastic opportunity for a tourist to visit with the locals and get a glimpse of the reality that is usually not part of the typical tourist track. Bettie being a kinswoman made it an expedient obligation I wholeheartedly pursued and luckily it worked out well.

We stopped by Bettie’s shop before driving over to her house. After a visit at her house, she drove us to lunch at the local golf club of which she’s been a member all her life. Bettie is a remarkable lady and I completely adore her. At 86, she is as spry as one can imagine. Warm and unbelievably talkative, Bettie seems more energetic than some people half of her age. She complained about her hearing but as she launched into talking about her children (nine of them), grandchildren and all the relatives in the states, I couldn’t help but be amazed by her extraordinarily sharp memory.

Bettie showed us the guest room and joked that it was where we’d be staying. I wished we had planned a longer visit. Maybe, next time…

Athy, Kildare’s main drag

Athy, Kildare’s main drag

Bettie’s shop

Bettie’s shop

Bettie and the pot of flowers that’s been with her more than 10 years.

Bettie and the pot of flowers that’s been with her more than 10 years.

Bettie’s dinning room

Bettie’s dinning room

Bettie’s front yard

Bettie’s front yard

At Bettie’s golf club

At Bettie’s golf club

Glendalough of Wicklow County

On route to Dublin from Athy, we visited Glendalough, 60km (36 miles) from Athy and 50km (30 miles) to Dublin.

Glendalough, “Glen of Two Lakes”, is a glacial valley located in the serene and lush mountains of Wicklow County. Where St Kevin founded a monastic settlement in 6th century, it is one of the most visited sites in Ireland. Since St Kevin’s days, Glendalough had its share of glory and flourished for centuries. After many vicissitudes, it was destroyed and left ruined in late 14th century by English troops.

Mixed, low growing flowers

Mixed, low growing flowers

St Kevin’s monastery across the river

St Kevin’s monastery across the river


In the front is St Kevin’s kitchen. In the back is the tall round tower.
Round Tower

Round Tower

Ruin of the 12th century Cathedral

Ruin of the 12th century Cathedral

Glendalough’s upper lake from the monastery

Glendalough’s upper lake from the monastery

St Kevin’s Cross

St Kevin’s Cross


We rubbed the cross in hope of gaining its healing power.
Vibrant foxgloves near St Kevin’s monastery

Vibrant foxgloves near St Kevin’s monastery

Glendalough’s upper lake from its shore

Glendalough’s upper lake from its shore

On one side of the bridge, water was still

On one side of the bridge, water was still

On the other side of the bridge, water was bubbling

On the other side of the bridge, water was bubbling

Powerscout House and Garden

Powerscourt, 30km (18miles) from Dublin, is located in Enniskerry, Wicklow County. Surrounded by gentle, luxuriant mountains of Wicklow, Powerscourt is a wonderful place to visit. The house has been converted into elegant café/restaurant and Avoca stores offering lots of savory and fun things. Next to the mansion house there is a colorful, delightful home and garden shop. And somewhere on the ground sits the luxurious, five star Ritz-Carlton hotel. But the main attractions are its enchanting gardens. Among others, its Romanesque Italian garden is breathtakingly beautiful and its roses in the Walled Garden emit the purest and strongest aroma.

Front façade of Powerscourt House

Front façade of Powerscourt House

Italian Garden is located in the back of the house

Italian Garden is located in the back of the house

Rolling mountains make beautiful back drop for the garden

Rolling mountains make beautiful back drop for the garden

Back of the house from Italian Garden

Back of the house from Italian Garden

Sculpted horses by the lotus pond

Sculpted horses by the lotus pond

Lotus flowers

Lotus flowers

From the far end of lotus pond, you get this fantastic view

From the far end of lotus pond, you get this fantastic view

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Found in the Japanese Garden-What a divine pattern!

Found in the Japanese Garden-What a divine pattern!

A giant tree on the ground

A giant tree on the ground

You’ll find an amazingly rich variety of flowers in the Walled Garden

You’ll find an amazingly rich variety of flowers in the Walled Garden

A large pink flower

A large pink flower

A clustered ball in lavender

A clustered ball in lavender

Yellow rose

Yellow rose

It is just peachy !

It is just peachy !

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