First, a comment about the Powerscourt Waterfall, It amazes me that this estate was so huge. It literally covered miles. This waterfall, listed as Ireland’s highest, is five or six miles from our hotel, but part of the same estate. If you go back to the last post, one of Mrs Bear’s mountain climbing photos shows the Powerscourt Waterfall below her!!! Quite a hike!!!
Now a few comments about playing golf and in Ireland. There are many links-style courses, but I played more American friendly forest courses on this trip. These featured tree-lined fairways, but incorporated nasty bunkers and multi-tiered greens of links style. The views of the surrounding estate were incredible. Carts are available but most locals walk. If you play here, bring a range finder. The distances are marked in meters so it is hard to recalculate to yards. The rental equipment is great. The staffs are accommodating. Bring rain clothes and extra balls.
A few comments about the beers of Ireland. Life here circulated around the Pubs…People meet and socialize over a pint of Guinness, but the rest of the Irish ales, lagers, and stouts are yummy. There is as much choice among the Irish whiskies. The music is terrific, but it is hard to eat a meal without meat included.
Finally the things that make Ireland unique: The people are extremely friendly. Everyone talks to you, and it never feels like you are a stranger. The colors are unbelievable. Consistent rain and near 18 hours of daylight makes everything either green or blooming. Nothing is rushed here…Food comes slowly at the pubs so you can savor the beer and conversation beforehand. And there is a level of trust sadly lacking in our country. I lost my hotel keycard and they replaced it without demanding three kinds of IDs. And I had real trouble pumping gas. I took my credit card inside and they told me to go back outside. I couldn’t find a place to enter my card, so back inside I went. Only then did I discover that they intended me to pump my gas without a deposit, then come inside to pay for it. No drive offs in Ireland!! I know the Irish have a long history of killing each other. But I sensed a calmness in today’s Republic. The people don’t seem worried about terrorism, no one talks about the need for self protection, and the economy has benefitted both North and South by becoming peaceful
I joked with Mrs Bear that since we stayed exclusively in County Wicklow, we have 31 more trips to make to Ireland… One for each of the other 31 counties. The scenery will always be great, there will always be lots of beer and whiskey to drink, and the people will always welcome you home