australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

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Glendalough & Dublin
Goodbye to Kilkenny, we hardly knew ye! Very nice to not have to be up so early, but at 10:30am we were on the road for Dublin via the monastery ruins at Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains. Since it was such a long haul, we stopped in Baltinglass for lunch, where Cyd & I split a shepherds pie and didn't forget to take our drinks photo this time. On my recommendation Tracia discovered bottled Bulmers berry cider which she thinks might be dangerous. ;)

After an even longer stretch of curvy roads, we stopped at a very nice view of Glendalough coming down from the mountains, and everyone took lots of photos. The heather on the hill was so pretty with the little yellow flowers mixed in. They have filmed several movies there including Braveheart, and there are stone walls leftover from those where tiny ferns are growing in the cracks and a window made for a nice photo opportunity.

We arrived at the monastery about 2:30 for our guided tour at 3pm, so we had a little time to tour the visitor center first. I don't remember seeing the visitor center or hotel 4 years ago, but they have been there for years, so maybe Andy & I just didn't bother with those. I definitely remember the ruins, and the weather was very similar gray skies both trips so I didn't take too many photos.

Last time I was disappointed that St Kevin's Church was locked so we couldn't go in...but since we had a guided tour, our guide had the key, and we sang Missa Brevis inside!

After we sang, Doug presented Tracia with the group gift from the tour, a trinity knot necklace she had been looking for, then our guided tour was over and we had almost 2 more hours to spend. Cyd & I wandered the graveyard a little more, then we headed for the path to Upper Lake and found some others from our group. We made it all the way out to a nice waterfall along the path before we turned back to enough time to get back to the bus by 6pm.

We finally arrived in Dublin about 7pm, got settled in our room, then when we came downstairs we could only find Katie from our group. Cyd wants to go to Foley's Restaurant she found last time, but when we mapped it, we weren't sure if we should walk back that far through the city by ourselves. We walked across the River Liffey to the Temple Bar area, peeked into a few bars but still not finding anyone from our group, then when it started raining, we chose Gogarty's, which ended up a lot of fun. Great music, Dutch people next to us singing along, and decent food with a couple pints each. Cyd had another Kilkenny Ale before her Guinness, and Katie & I had Cashels, the cider on tap. We walked back to our hotel in the rain, and hung out in the hotel lobby for a bit with a couple people. Dennis our bus driver stopped by and gave us all sorts of recommendations for the rest of our time in Ireland, so we'll hopefully settle some of those plans today when he can show us exactly which routes to take on our maps.

Last concert today, this time midday at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin!

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How neat that you can include the video in your blog. Sounded great! So glad you are better.

love,m om

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