Adventures Outside of Dublin!
I have officially been in Ireland for over a month! It seems so surreal that it is going by so fast. Last weekend I finally got the chance to explore the countryside around Dublin. The international program at UCD took about 100 study abroad students to Glendalough and County Wicklow. The day began with a hike around the beautiful hills and lakes of Glendalough. Glendalough is a glacial valley that was settled by monks in the 6th century. There was a tower built in the 500s that was used to call the monks to prayer. It still stands today, surrounded by a cemetery where people are still buried.
The two hour hike took us past two gorgeous lakes, numerous hills, and spectacular views. Although there were a lot of people walking around, it was still very peaceful. We took our time taking in the views and enjoying the beautiful weather!
After the hike around Glendalough, we headed into the town of Wicklow for lunch by the water. The town was so quaint and picturesque, reminiscent of what I expected an Irish town to look like. Next, we went to Powerscourt Gardens, a couple-hundred year old estate surrounded by beautiful gardens and breathtaking views of the mountains. The gardens were designed by many different architects, all of who’s desire was to incorporate them into the surrounding natural beauty. After soaking in the views with a pastry and tea, we toured the gardens, taking in all of the beautiful scenery.
Inspired by the beautiful views of Glendalough and County Wicklow, the next day we decided to head to the beach. The weather was once again spectacular, making it the perfect day to be by the water. Even though the water was freezing, there were still a lot of people swimming, enjoying the last few days of summer. The views of the Irish sea and the surrounding land were beautiful!
The small town surrounding Seapoint was filled with pubs and cafes. We stumbled across a pub that had delicious food, from the fish and chips to the quiche to the brown bread ice cream to the cappuccinos. After a long, relaxing lunch, we headed into the city to catch the last half of the Dublin vs. Mayo County GAA match. After Dublin won the match, everyone broke out in song and cheers. It was amazing to be surrounded by so much enthusiasm and pride!
Overall, it was incredible to be able to experience the beauty of the Irish countryside, as well as the excitement of the city. This weekend we are headed to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher, which is sure to be spectacular! That’s it for now!