Glendalough

With a big day planned, we were up and about early, walking in the rain to get our oatmeal. The tour bus would be leaving at 8:50am and it was on time.  After the group was collected, the bus began the journey through the center of Dublin town. Our driver was also the tour guide. His name was Joe and he really liked to talk and sing.  
Getting through the city opened up a whole new experience of Dublin. There was much less traffic and the streets turned into two lanes. With less traffic the landscape changed to a pleasant residential neighborhood.   We traveled through the area which opened up to a fishing and resort community. Our tour guide was constantly talking about the history, politics, and wealth of this part of Dublin. It was impressive to see Ireland’s fishing community, the yacht clubs, wealthy residents, and the ocean.

The two lane roads turned into one lane back roads, and we were on an uphill heading toward the mountains. It was breathtaking to pass through the valleys and mountains on both sides of the road. I know now why Ireland is said to be so green. Joe emphasized that by singing a verse from Johnny Cash’s song, Forty Shades of Green. 

  

As far as the eye could see, there were hills, valleys, mountain ranges that continued on and on.  We also drove through a bog area and lots of heather. Mom took more than 100 photos, many of them through the bus window.  Most of them  looked something like this:  

Our first stop was to have tea and a scone in an Avoca shop situated on a beautiful estate owned by a wealthy family. They traveled around the world bringing many plants and flowers with them. It was so lovely at this stop. The toilets (as they are called) impressed me, and they were outside toilets at that! I had to take a photo before leaving one.  

Continuing we were going higher in elevation while the roads would wind giving us a more magnificent view with every turn. We made a stop to take photos of a bridge and rippling water that was shown in the film P.S. I Love You.

  

We stopped to overlook a resort in the mountains owned by the Guinness family where they entertained many famous musical celebrities. The filming industry uses the sight for movies, TV series, and advertisements. It was beautiful and we took many photos from the road.  

Our last stop was Glendalough. This was a wonderful site of historical significance. Ruined churches from the 10th-12th century are here. A tower that still stands and is structurally sound, housed the monks during Viking attacks. 

   
 

There are two lakes on different levels, for us to explore. Our guide gave us a walking tour to begin and we had the freedom to walk around on our own for 1-1/2 hours.  We enjoyed strolling around the lakes and through the woods in a slight drizzle.    

It was a full day ending with another Irish meal while listening to music.   Then a little blogging and to bed.  Tomorrow is our last day …

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