Wicklow Mountains, Ireland
Day 3 we got up super early and drove to Port Marnock to park and catch the DART(Dublin Area Rapid Transit) to Dublin. Take the DART…it’s the cheapest and easiest way to get to and from Dublin and most of the villages surrounding it. I think our tickets were 7 euro to and from Dublin. Taxi’s in Dublin will run you 20 Euro and buses are a little more than the train. It only cost us 3 euro to park our car all day at the Port Marnock station. We walked to the Dublin tourism office about 5 blocks away to board the bus, Wild Wicklow Tours. I did a lot of research to find the perfect tour to Wicklow. This one offered the best customer reviews via Tripadvisor. I really wanted the Irishman, Stephen, after hearing all the wonderful comments about him. Well guess who was our tour guide, Mr. Stephen! He was as good as they all claimed him to be, super funny, knew his history, people, and culture and shared it all with us. It was an eight hour tour with many stops, to include a hike. We started with a tour around Dublin. We were shown a few places where Bono and a other celebrities lived on the south side of Dublin. We then headed to Sandy Cove.
The old stone tower you see in the back of the photo was a watch tower. There are several along the coast of Ireland. They thought or heard Napolean planned to attack and built these towers to watch for him.
We headed to Wicklow National Park from here.
On the way to Wicklow we stopped to eat at the highest village in Ireland, Roundwood. They had beautiful Sequoia trees everywhere.
Actually we stopped at Avoca Handweavers first…I loved that store. We bought a coffee and snack here. Their pastries were so amazing I bought their Tea Time cookbook!
We stopped in Roundwood for lunch and shopping! I bought some celtic music and crafts here.
Next stop was Guinness Lake! Because they said it’s shaped like a pint of guinness? I think they had too many pints when they named it! Nevertheless, it is a beautiful lake.
Many films were made in this area of the Wicklow mountains to include, Excalibur, Braveheart, PS. I love you, Saving Private Ryan. The bridges and road in the photo below were used many times in films. Not hard to imagine considering the beauty of this land.
Next stop was Glendalough…I was truly spellbound by it’s beauty and it was exactly what I envisioned Ireland to be. Glendalough is pronounced Gleann Dá Loch, which means valley of two lakes. Which we actually hiked to during this stop! It is the oldest monastary in Ireland. You can read about it here.
Entrance into the Monastary.
Photo of Glendalough’s round tower, a place of refuge for the monks, storage, and used as a landmark.
The oldest headstone is said to be dated at 1500 years.
Inside the remains of the cathedral.
hiking up to the upper lake of Glendalough
Back to Dublin at the end of the tour…& the infamous Trinity College!
And here is Trinity College lit up a night for St Patrick’s Day.
I did not take photos of the place we ate at…but we had Irish burgers and Brown Sauce…that’s what they call it…I think it’s a twist between ketchup and bbq sauce…they love it in Ireland and pretty much put it on everything. I loved it!