Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wicklow Day Trip

I managed to fit in quite a few more Irish experiences before September came to a close.  The weekend following the trek to Galway, I joined a UCD day trip to Glendalough, a neat glacial valley in County Wicklow less than an hour away from campus.  We also made a stop at the impressive Powerscourt Estate. 

While in Glendalough we went on a guided hike of the well-known medieval monastery as well as part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.  The early Christian monastic settlement, dating back to the 6th century, had several interesting buildings and graves still standing, the most famous being the round tower about 98 feet high.

After making our way through the monastic remains we continued on to a hiking trail through the Wicklow Mountains.  It was great weather, considering our tour guide said it rains about 270 days out of the year - we got lucky.  Glendalough essentially means 'the valley of the two lakes' and it was a very enjoyable hike in which we walked past the upper lake in the valley. 

We spent the second half of the day visiting the Powerscourt Estate & Gardens, which was voted the number 3 garden in the world this year by National Geographic.  As you can see below, the 47 acres of formal walled gardens and shaded ponds were definitely impressive, and the estate itself was no slouch either.
There was even a pet cemetery
Delicious apple pie

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