A pretty amazing thing about Ireland is how close everything is to everything else. In the amount of time it takes me to get to my Mom’s house in the suburbs, our group traversed into the countryside oasis of Glendalough in County Wicklow. Having spent most of my time in Dublin, I giggled a little when our tour guide told us to bring water, snacks, and appropriate hiking gear. So of course I completely ignored her and wore jeans, running shoes, and brought an umbrella (because, you know, Ireland).I stand corrected. County Wicklow might be a short jaunt from the city, but it’s about the same in topography to Dublin as Chicago is to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
So, yeah, I climbed a few mountains in jeans and running shoes.
Regrets? No, not really. I mean I probably lost a pound by sweating it out in my jeans.
Glendalough is best known for the ruins of a 6th century monastic village settled by St. Cóemgen (not pronounced, but sometimes referred to, as Kevin). The village is amazing to take in, but somewhat of a tourist trap compared to the hiking trails in the surrounding hills. The journey to Glendalough is an easy and comfortable bus ride from Dublin through some quaint little towns, but you’ve got to be really prompt about getting the bus back.
Here are some of the things I noticed during my day in The Valley of the Two Lakes: