Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review - Glendalough, Wicklow Ireland

Tower - Glendalough, Ireland, 2016
On prior trips to Ireland I had gone on day-trips north of Dublin to Howth and explored the Botanic Garden.  

On this trip I had a half day free for another adventure, exploring more of Ireland. 

I had the good fortune to be invited down to the Wicklow area.  This is one of Ireland's National Parks and an easy day-trip from Dublin.

Although a raining overcast day (what else would it be?) this was a very enjoyable diversion! I think the light rain kept the majority our sightseers away - the trip did get very crowded towards the end of our stay. 

Our focus was hiking with a close second for good food and a bit of shopping - so it was recommended to try Glendalough and Sally Gap and then head to the coast.

Woodlands at Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough is a pretty valley with bonus of historic sites and well groomed trails and easy access. There are ~9 trails that range from a few minutes to several hours or days. We started with the "green trail" to the ruins of an early christian settlement called Monastic City. We were fortunate to have gotten a very early start arriving as the parks opened. Later in the day the tour buses were pervasive and the trails a tad congested - at least near the visitor centers.

Please see below for some additional photos of the day. Other Dublin Day-trips and tours are reviewed in these blog updates.

Wicklow - August 2016

Cemetery at Monastic City - Aug 2016

Monastic City, Wicklow, Ireland

Ruins at Monastic City, Ireland

Green Trail, Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland, 2016

I really enjoyed the variety of woodlands and the bogs. Although my girlfriend has an irrational fear of frogs which was tested frequently, I rather enjoyed running into wildlife including red deer. 
We packed in a lunch and snacked by the Upper Lake and a bit higher up on the trail. 

We hit 26k steps this day. Very enjoyable.

Getting there: There are many tours via bus available to the area - also private hire cars. The cost is ~25 euro for the former and close to 800 euro for the latter. The DART (train) will get you in the area - but it would potentially be challenging to get to differently locations one there. It could also be an easy drive - should you hire a car, but know that the roads in the area are extremely narrow, windy, and not well marked. Luckily my girlfriend offered to take me on the tour! It gave us lots of flexibility. I was so nervous about the drive that at one point I sat in the back seat and "slept" so that I didn't have to see the road. 

Happy Day!

Teresa Marie

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