October 2015, here we are in Glendalough, right in the middle of Wicklow County. Far far away from the noise, the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s about an hour drive from the center of Dublin, just long enough to enjoy the scenery and to switch the mind from city life to life in the nature.
You can park your car just in front of the Upper Lake and start hiking from there. Pass the Education Centre and follow the Miners’ Road, which will lead you along the north side of the lake all the way to the Miners’ Village and beyond. As a matter of fact, there are quite of lot of different routes you can take or even make some combinations. Take a look at the Wicklow Mountains National Park website and enlighten yourself before you jump into the unknown. 🙂
We obviously, started on the Miners’ Road but did continue on that path till the Foot Bridge, because we were already a too late to make the entire trail on daylight. Thus, we decided to take a short cut right trough the wildlife of Glendalough that would lead us up the wooden steps to the crest and back to the where we began our tour. So we didn’t do the complete tour, but who cares?!! In exchange, we got a close look at some wildlife!
Deer, to be exact. We probably saw some birds, too, but I wouldn’t be able to remember. Anyway, at some point the male deer got quite irritated by our presence and made some wierd noise to manifest his discontentedness. Despite the shortcut we got back to the starting point just as the sun was about to go to bed – what a view!
The next thing on our list was to find a place to stay! Of course we hadn’t booked a place in advance! How boring would that have been? On our way to Wicklow we stopped at the Glendalough International Hostel and the Glendalough Hotel – both of them looked quite dead. So we decided to drive to the town of Wicklow and find something there! As we entered Wicklow we started screening every building. The brightest spot was without a doubt the outdoor tennis court that was illuminated like a football stadium! Anyway, since Yelp wasn’t much of a help, we entered some shop that was probably already closed but the lady at the desk was going through some papers. She was extremely friendly and took about ten minutes telling us where we could go out and stay etc. That brings me to another thing about Ireland in general:
People are very friendly and helpful! Almost everyone I’ve briefly talked to and/or asked for directions was genuinely very friendly! Even though it rains up to 225 days a year (I know, just in parts of the west as Google found out). Long story short, the Irish are ♥ and that lady recommended us to take a look at the Bridge Tavern. Apparently, Ewan McGregor (was it really him?) had stayed there a couple of years ago..! Oulalaaa!
So we did, and we didn’t regret it. I mean, as soon as you get there, their motto is in your face: “EAT, DRINK, STAY”. It couldn’t have been a better match for us. So we ate, drank and stayed. 🙂 Even the irish breakfast was phenomenal. I wish I had taken more pictures, but after our hiking tour and are subsequent hunt for a place to stay, we weren’t really into the picture taking tourist mode.