Guest Post by Scott.
Alas, our last full day in Ireland was today, but it was a great day. We spent a few hours of the morning in and around downtown Dublin before our bus departed for Glendalough, home of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The ride to the park was beautiful as we saw the rolling hills and grassy plains of the Irish countryside, full of sheep, horses, and cows. The scenery we saw today was much more accurate to the images that come to my mind when I think of Ireland and was a nice escape from the bustling city of Dublin. On our wilderness hike around the park, we saw waterfalls, lakes, sheep, and good ol’ Irish wilderness.
Returning to Dublin later this evening, we had pizza at a place in the Temple Bar part of town. Temple Bar is a foot-traffic only part of downtown Dublin with small shops, restaurants, pubs, etc. I had a chicken and pesto pizza, which really hit the spot. It reminded me of the chicken and pesto pizzas I used to get all the time at Schlotzke’s Deli when there was one in Grand Rapids. It is sad to be typing this blog entry as I know we will be leaving Ireland tomorrow morning, but it has been a great trip. Ireland is a country I could definitely see myself visiting again.
Today was the last day in Ireland. How sad… we will be returning though, at some point in the future. That I know. Ireland is too beautiful a country to not see more of it.
We started the day going to Trinity College again to buy sweatshirts. Mission: Accomplished. We also looked for a square Old Library Key chain for Courtney, but NOT A SINGLE ONE REMAINED! I cannot believe it! How ridiculous. I hope they have it online..Otherwise, I’ll just request it via e-mail.
We then tried to go to Castle Greyskull… It’s actually Dublin Castle and looks nothing like Castle Greyskull, but for some reason I couldn’t remember the name of the castle that resides in the middle of Dublin… so I called “Dublin Castle” by the name “Castle Greyskull.” I’m sure there’s a “Johnny Rockets” somewhere near by.
We only had about 45 minutes to get to the bus stop for the Wicklow Mountains National Park at Glen da loch, and the only way to see Dublin Castle is via guided tour that lasts 50 minutes, and the next tour would not start soon enough anyway, so we said next time we’ll definitely go there. It looked awesome from what we could see from the door way.
We went via charter bus to Glen da loch, and walked a trail and saw an old stone Cathedral and a very old graveyard, that was surrounded by mountains and an amazing lake and waterfalls in the hills. Awesome nature area that I could spend days wandering. It’s no wonder that Tolkien loved the environment of the hilly woodland so much.. it’s really amazing. The trip went by rolling hills filled with sheep and horses. Pretty impressive.
After we got back, we got food over at Temple Bar at a cafe. We then wandered around and went to a grocery store and then listened to about 30 seconds of real LIVE Irish music. Then we found our way to a small Ice Cream shop and got Hot Chocolate. After which we caught our bus back to the Hotel by the Airport, and waited at the Airport for our Hotel shuttle for about 30+ minutes (for a shuttle that runs every 15 minutes to and from a hotel that is 3 minutes away). Now we’re getting ready to depart for Chicago tomorrow morning.
We have much to say about the trip so keep reading.