Saturday, July 23, 2016

European Adventure Day 3 (July 3rd, 2016)

This day was one of my absolute favorites! We went on a guided tour to County Wicklow. Several movies and TV shows have been filmed here, including Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, P.S. I Love You and Vikings. Our tour guide was very cheerful but a little lackluster. This tour took the entire day and I was in awe of the beauty of Ireland. It is so GREEN. I know people are aware of this already, but I mean, it is really green! During the tour we were able to see the Mountains and bogs. We visited a beautiful stream and the spent time at the bridge from P.S. I love you. Diane and I touched the water. This is really her thing when traveling - she likes to dip her hand in the waters, and I adopted this practice myself!

We were also able to visit Guinness Lake. It was a spectacular view! The water looks black because of the run off from the bogs which have a high iron content.  The lake is near an estate that belongs to the Guinness family. They imported some white sand on the edge of the dark, peaty water and as a result, the lake looks like a pint of Guinness! The lake's actual name is Lough Tay and is fed by the Cloghoge River. 

Next we visited Glendalough (Valley with two lakes). There is an upper lake and a lower lake in this glacial valley. Glendalough is home to ancient medieval, monastic ruins and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. It has several trails that run from the ruins to the lakes. Diane and I especially loved walking through the forested areas on our way back from visiting the lower lake. We touched the water here, as well.

As we were waiting for our tour bus to pick us up for the last leg of the tour, I felt compelled to take my shoes off and walk barefoot through the Irish clover here. I was completely charmed by the abounding loveliness of Glendalough and I will return again in this lifetime.

We ended our tour in the little village of Avoca (Below is a photo of a lovely church in the village). We had a scrumptious late lunch at Fitzgerald's Pub that included lovely desserts (Diane really loved her apple tart with fresh cream, warm custard and raspberry coulis).

On the way back, we caught a glimpse of the Irish Sea where scenes from Saving Private Ryan were filmed, but we were unable to snap a picture.  We leave bright and early in the morning for London! We will take a ferry to Wales and catch a train for London. I am looking forward to seeing the countryside!

(Side note - I was freezing most of the time in Dublin/Ireland as it was typically 62 degrees and drizzly. The lovely green scarf I am wearing was a bargain I snatched at the Jameson Distillery. I think it is the perfect Irish souvenir! I shall always think of Ireland as I am wearing it.)

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