By GRACE HEART
Having just finished the midterm on Friday, we were all ready to get off campus. Our second program-organized day trip was Wicklow! Just south of Dublin, Wicklow is only about 45 minutes from UCD. The area was originally settled by the Celtics and later plundered by the Vikings from which it acquired its name. Today, the area is full of scenic hills and green fields.
We left campus at about 8:45am and made our way to Powercourt Estates. Nearly 50 acres, this large estate was originally a 13th century castle, later altered by a German architect in the 18th century. The name comes from the original owner La Poer which became “Power.” After a fire in 1974, the House was reconstructed. The view from the castle is absolutely breathtaking, one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. We explored the estate, starting with the rose gardens at the bottom of the steps down from the castle. Next, we made our way over to the Japanese Garden. There was also a pet cemetery on the other side of the estate which was a bit odd. Apparently, it’s the largest pet cemetery in Ireland, but I’ve never really seen any sort of pet cemetery to compare it to so I guess I’d say it was pretty big. It is the resting ground for the pets of the Slazenger families, most recent owners. The cemetery includes horses and cows. We didn’t get a chance to see the tower, but everything we did see was stunning! We only spent about two hours at the estate, so try to be efficient in what you see if you want to explore the entire estate. There is a trail you can take around the whole thing, but we did spend a decent amount of time relaxing and taking photos.