A wet but welcoming sight!
I unceremoniously slept through the entire train ride from Dublin to Waterford, which made me feel like I was teleported to a new southern Irish city. My mother was visiting for the long weekend, and we decided on Waterford for its Viking past and scenic nature routes. As we stepped off the train, I realized I hadn’t missed much because, according to my mother, it had been pouring rain the entire ride down. It was also still early in the morning, and because we got on the train before sunrise it was still fairly dark. Upon first impressions of the city, I realized how tiny and tucked away the train station was compared to everything else; it was the only building of significance on the northern side of the river and was nestled right up against a towering hillside. A lone bridge connected the station to the city over the River Suir, which we traversed in a taxi to get to our bed and breakfast.
The view from the Bed and Breakfast, the first picture being directly from the lounge and the second from an adjacent field. An awesome view from the southeastern part of the city and River Suis!
Samuel’s Heritage Bed and Breakfast was a short 20-minute drive away from the station and located between the river and the seemingly endless Irish countryside. As we approached the building, the owner of the B&B’s dog, Remy, came running up to us begging for cuddles. After petting Remy until he was satisfied, we got to our room and unpacked all our items. Since this whole trip was more of a last-minute excursion, we did not make any concrete plans beforehand. At the time, it was late enough in the morning that most places had stopped serving breakfast, but it was still not quite time for lunch. Thankfully, after some time searching on Google, the Mount Congreve Gardens offered us something to do along with being the only place open and still serving food.
The mansion and gardens were very clean; however, what was not shown was the road up to the destination, which was muddy and in the process of being paved.
We took another 20-minute taxi to the gardens where we were greeted with an ornate white mansion. On the east wing of the house, there was a gift shop and cafe. My mother and I got there just in time for the final orders of breakfast, so we both ordered eggs and toast. Outside the window, a rainbow appeared among the Halloween decorations as we dug into our first meal in over twelve hours.
After the floods comes a rainbow, followed by more rain.
The garden itself was majestic. The multitude of tree varieties, the fall colors, the exotic structures, and a sturdy children’s playground (I say that because it was able to hold my weight) made the nearly two-and-a-half-hour walk feel like no time at all. The moss on the trees allowed for all sorts of plants to grow inside the tree’s bark, which added to the beauty of the surroundings. Snails and white slugs greeted us at every stop. The sights were marvelous: A Japanese pagoda surrounded by meticulously placed ferns could be seen from a bridge that also overlooked the river and a small train line. The first walkthrough of the garden would have been picture-perfect if it weren’t for the torrential downpour that took us by surprise toward the end.
I had a great time taking up-close pictures in the garden!
As the rain passed, we made our way back to the gift shop and asked around for directions on how to get back. We did not have reliable cell service, and the gardens were far enough away from the city that ordering a taxi would take exorbitantly long. After around 25 minutes of hearing about different methods of transportation around the city from the gift shop employee, a local overhearing our conversation offered for us to hitch a ride with her. And so, we left the Gardens in a very nice stranger’s car, free of charge, to our bed and breakfast where we would plan our next adventure.