A Saturday Stroll Around Glendalough

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As much as I want to set sail from my native country and explore other lands and cultures, I often forget how lucky I am to live in Ireland. One of my favourite pastimes of late is to read other people’s thoughts on Ireland and experience my little country through non-native eyes. For instance, Travel Morgan Travel‘s sheer enthusiasm and love of the Emerald Isle has helped me to rediscover a passion and zeal for all things Irish. We’re very quick to defend Ireland when abroad, but we complain and take everything for granted while we’re living here. I suppose it’s the same everywhere, or perhaps we Irish just reeeeaally like to complain about everything! Either way, I set myself a task to rediscover my familiar last month and that’s just what I did today.

My Dad and I took my Granny out for lunch and a short walk on Saturday. Emphasis on the word short – it is FREEZING at the moment in Ireland. Tá sé an-fhuar ar fad!!  As Dad lives in the UK, he likes to reacquaint himself with the Ireland he knew from way back (only joking Dad – you’re not that old.. yet!). We picked up Granny in Bray, and as we were already in Wicklow we drove to Glendalough.

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Glendalough [pronounced Glen-da-lock] (Valley of the Two Lakes) is a just over an hour south of Dublin. It is home to the most renowned monastic sites in Ireland. It is also very well known spot for walking and hiking due to the wooded areas, hills and mountains rising from the valley. According to VisitWicklow.ie, St Kevin founded Glendalough Monastic City in the 6th century, and the buildings that can be seen today were built around around the 10th and 12th centuries. That is until the Norman’s invaded and destroyed the monastery in 1214 AD. The most famous and impressive structure is the Round Tower standing at 30 meters high. Surprisingly it seemed smaller than I remembered, although it has been about 15 years since I was last at Glendalough! Unfortunately we didn’t get to walk through the old monastic city as it was a little too cold for my grandmother, but I did catch a glimpse of the ruins of St Kevin’s Kitchen in the distance.

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You know when you see a view so breathtaking that it sort of creeps inside of you and lives in your soul for a while? Every aspect of County Wicklow is like that. It is such a beautiful part of Ireland. So many tourists go west to experience ‘real’ Ireland, but Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland for a reason. The picturesque and historical Glendalough is only one teeny tiny part. Some other of my favourite towns in Wicklow include Greystones, Bray, Roundwood, Eniskerry, Ashford, Avoca… I could go on and on, but for now you’re going to have to take my word for it. Unless you’ve been to Wicklow, well then in that case please share your experiences in the comments below as I’d love to hear them 🙂

If you’d like to find out more about Glendalough, or simply wish to find better quality pictures that weren’t taken on an iPhone, check out the official website of Glendalough – they do the place way more justice than I ever can!





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