Suicide cyclists and a new twist on Carole King

May 26, 2013

We are finally in Ireland!  I must say, this has been an exhausting first day.  Our flights were pretty much without incident.  I had hoped I could sleep on the way over but no such chance.  Even an hour would have been great but since we got last-minute-seats, we also were right in front of the “lavatories”.  I’m quite convinced that our seats did not recline as far as they should have.  That coupled with the “WHOOOSH!” sound ever so often pretty much left us bleary-eyed upon arriving in Dublin.  It’s Sunday here and after passing through customs, we stepped into the Aer Lingus terminal to be greeted by a choir and keyboard singing (with great gusto) Vivaldi’s “Gloria”.  It was honestly glorious! “Thank you.  Thank you!” I mouthed over and over to them and several smiled and waved back.  It was so welcoming.upper lake Glendalough

We secured our Dan Dooley Rental car and headed out on the loop to find our way via R115 to Glendalough.  Glendalough is a monastic site established by St. Kevin back in the 6th century.  There are many ruins hundreds of year old; however, the two that really stand out are the round tower and St. Kevin’s church.  The site is also nestled between two steeply sloping sides into which two lakes are also tidily dropped.  We hoped to get there early in the morning before most of the tourist; especially before the tour buses.Reefert Church at Glendalough

We are desperately realizing that things just aren’t going as planned this time around.  It took some time to figure out that the road we were in search of did not exit from the loop road around Dublin.  Bear in mind we are still without sleep and I am driving on the opposite side of the road from the U.S. AND shifting with my left hand.  Hello!?  We took over an hour driving way to close to downtown Dublin than I had ever hoped to drive.  We finally found our way to an alternate route and after nearly an hour and a half lost, we were on the way into the Wicklow Mountains.high cross and round tower Glendalough

If you’ve ever driven in Ireland, ridden in a car or bus in Ireland, seen photos of scraped rental cars from Ireland – you can testify to the narrow roadways.  Many were not designed with cars in mind.  As you wind through the hilly countryside there is little room for error.  So someone please explain to me whose genius idea it was to have a (get this) “suicide prevention bike ride” through the Wicklow Mountains on a busy Sunday afternoon?  Suicide prevention?  Honest?  It far more resembled Russian roulette.  It was horrible.  I understand that bikes also get to use the roads and normally, while that may be an inconvenience for cars from time to time at home, this was almost insane. sheep towerWith the many twists and turns and rolling topography it was nerve wracking to first come upon bikes when you topped a hill, then try to scoot past the bikers when an opportunity presented itself.  Wow.trails

We did arrive at last to Glendalough and made our way through tour bus loads of high school aged kids taking a smoking break outside the visitor center.  Oh well.  We spent several hours here exploring, relaxing, strolling, and enjoying the afternoon.   We took lots of pictures and really got in a good bit of exercise walking to the second lake and back around the first.  The entire place was really teaming with people.  There were kids on scooters, dads playing soccer with their little ones, mom’s chasing after escapee toddlers and even a couple kids practicing hurling.  By the time we got to our car and made our way out of the festivities we were ready to find our B&B.

From St. Kevin's Keep GlendaloughWe found our way to our B&B by around 3:00 p.m. and since the proprietors were not yet home just sat at the top of the steep drive.  When the oldest boy arrived home we got our key from him and took about an hour lay-down to hold us through the rest of the evening.  We struck out for town around 6:30 p.m.; feeling just a little more refreshed.  Our hostess had suggested a place for dinner; however when we took a look at the menu posted outside it was far beyond what we wanted to spend.  We wandered about a bit before I spotted a very unassuming pub store front across the street.  I’m telling you, the less flash; the more authentic.  We ventured in to Healy’s Pub and were immediately welcomed by a good bartender.  We both had our first beers of the trip and good conversation with our guy (whose name escapes me) who has his PhD but is a bartender in Wicklow Town.  He seemed happy.recoving at Glendalough

From there we walked to the Grand Hotel for some pub grub.  We sat for a long, long time without being waiting on and finally moved to another section of the bar where it was much harder to be ignored.  We both ordered something light and mine could not be finished because it just wasn’t good.  We sat for a while and listened to the live music performed by a couple of senior citizen fellows; one on an accordion, one on a guitar.  When they got to their rendition of Carole King’s “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow” I turned to Bill and laughing said, “I sure hope we can laugh about this someday!”  He pointed out that we already were.Wicklow Harbor

It’s hard not to compare this to what we knew we would have experienced in Ennis at the Fleadh Nua.  What a difference.  It’s hard not to be disappointed but like we always say, “Hey, we’re in Ireland.”  We took a quick drive out to the Wicklow lighthouse and then returned to the B&B where surely we will sleep well tonight?  Tomorrow we will have some new adventures with refreshed spirits.  I know all will be well!unassuming




Awesome Round tower
high cross and round tower Glendalough
recoving at Glendalough
Reefert Church at Glendalough


Jacqui Cantu:
May 27, 2013
Look at it this way; when you move to Ireland you know where not to live. Have fun tomorrow!
Lou Ann Miller:
May 27, 2013
Chin up; a few lows just heighten the highs! <Smile>. The views are breathtaking!!
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