After a busy week of interviews, research, and gallivanting across Dublin, I decided to escape the city for a bit and spend sometime in the Irish countryside. From what my host family told me, there’s no better place to be on a rare sunny day than Glendalough, home of the enchantingly beautiful Wicklow Mountains. From my view, the mountains are somewhat of a metaphor for Irish Culture: mysterious, majestic, and undaunted by anything.
When I stepped off the tour bus and into the historic monastic settlement in Glendalough, my imagination instantly transported me a thousand years back to the tenth century. I was trying to imagine the reactions of the early settlers of Ireland the first time they encountered the mountains, and how utterly entrancing it would have been. Sadly I only had a few hours to spend wandering about the mountain range, but I plan on returning some day.
The next stop on the day tour was a place called “Powerscourt Gardens,” and it is most certainly named incorrectly. Simply calling it a garden gives the impression that there are a few flowers here and there that are tended to by an old woman with a passion for horticulture. No. This place was a palace straight out of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. Surrounding the stately mansion were flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors from across the globe. The lawn was perfectly manicured and more well groomed than Donald Trump’s hair. I couldn’t help but think about the vast dichotomy between Powerscourt and what I had been witnessing in the past few days. Here was a place one could only dream of ever owning; brimming with eloquence and royalty at every turn. Meanwhile in Dublin, homeless families cram into a packed hotel room and live paycheck-to paycheck. I’m by no means discouraging beautiful monuments and estates from existing. It’s just sad knowing that the cost of one “object” could easily feed and house hundreds of people.
Nonetheless, a beautiful day in the country.