THERE’S THAT CRAZY IRISH HOSPITALITY AGAIN!
Saturday, September 7th in Dublin, but heading south for the day
Having spent nearly a week in the city we were up for exploring the more rural areas around Dublin. I’d arranged for a rental car from Dan Dooley Car Hire, a local company I absolutely recommend. Not only were they the cheapest compared to the big US based car rental companies operating at Dublin International, but they were super friendly and easy to work with… plus we did a little damage to the car (you’ll learn about that in a bit) and they didn’t charge us for it when we returned the car. Now I can’t guarantee they’ll do that for you, but I still highly recommend Dan Dooley and will definitely rent from them again. And just to restate, we were advised not to rent a car while in Dublin, which we didn’t until the last day and that worked out great due to the public transportation options in Dublin. Plus, we were told parking was a pain, so only having a car for the last full day (the next morning we were up and off to Belfast) worked really well for us.
So we’d heard about nice little towns south of Dublin like Swords, Greystones and Bray and we were told not to miss Glendalough, the 6th century monastic site in County Wicklow that is a popular tourist attraction. It’s in the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park so you get history and nature combined.
We drove down to Greystones for a bit of breakfast. I don’t remember where but we ate at a charming little café, chatted with some friendly locals who happily shared their distain of Dublin with us LOL. This was something we found to be common, SOME people not from Dublin don’t look to highly on Dublin. Ireland as a whole is still a VERY rural country, so to those used to simple life out in the country Dublin may seem a bit much… so it was funny to see some reactions when we told people we staying in Dublin for a week – “too bad” and “I’m sorry” weren’t uncommon replies. 🙂
We left to head to Glendalough and I hit someone’s car with our rental… yup, within in a few hours of having the damn thing I had an accident with it. It wasn’t catastrophic, it was just me struggling to get a bearing driving on the opposite side of the road… as I passed another car I swiped our side view mirrors. I immediately pulled over, horrified and the other driver drove over… now here’s the thing, he seemed pissed and rolled down his window to yell at me, but the minute he heard we were tourist, he smiled and said no bother and wished well. So I guess the lesson is, Irish hospitality can make you feel guilty… oh and figure out how to drive on the left side of the road.
Glendalough in relation to Dublin
Anyway, we arrived safely at Glendalough and below you’ll see the pics. We explored the monastic settlement, then took a long hike though the park… everything was beautiful and Glendalough really is worth the visit even if it is a very “touristy” stop. We also made several stops along the way, checking out the coast or areas that struck our interest… almost everything in Ireland is beautiful so there’s never a shortage of things to look at.
The monastic site
The beautiful lake and grounds
This forest area was almost surreal with the soft ground cover and fog above
After a full day in the Wicklow Mountains National Park we started to head back to Dublin. We stopped in the coastal town of Bray and had dinner at Barracuda on the beach. In addition to having an amazing view this was probably the best lamb shank I have ever had in my life… so much so that it warranted its own picture! Damn was it good!
Beautiful view… beautiful dinner!
Up next – DAY 6 – OFF TO BELFAST!