Ireland: last stop on our year-long European trip


I started telling a little about our last stop of our trip on a previous post. I talked about Dublin and its charms and how we had to find a new Airbnb.

We ended up farther south of the city, in Greenhills. If you are coming to Ireland, please consider staying with Patrick. His house is lovely, with all the comforts you could want. But the highlight was the host himself. Patrick worked for many years in the tourist industry, so he knew the city and the countryside well. He was kind to take us on several trips and we got to see more of Ireland that way.

We soon noticed that the Irish are very talkative and extremely friendly. They do not hesitate to start a conversation with you and make you feel comfortable and friendly. We noticed that with a young couple we met at The Lumineers concert, with whom we had drinks afterwards; with an older lady waiting on the same bus stop as us, we could tell she was dying to talk to us and soon enough she started a friendly conversation. And of course, Patrick our host told us so many stories that filled our two weeks with laughter and great experiences. He took us to the local pub where we met with the community, who were all so nice, and sang Karaoke. It was such an incredible night, to truly be with Irish people and see how lovely they are.

But the trips to the countryside made our trip to Ireland truly memorable.

Blessington.

On the first weekend we went to Blessington and hiked by the lake for the whole day and came back to town to have one of the best pub foods we’ve had.

Next weekend, Patrick kindly took us around County Wicklow and through the beautiful Wicklow Mountains. The hikes and views are outstanding and there is so much to see. We made a stop to see the “Pint of Guiness”, a lake with the characteristic black water of the region, and a small beach making it seem like a pint of the traditional beer with the foam at the top. We also stopped at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation and the German Cemetery, where many unidentified german soldiers from World War II have been buried.

“Pint of Guiness” lake.

The next day we went to Glendalough, a town with a Medieval monastic site and took a marvelous hike on the Glendalough National Park, through the woods and by the lakes.

On our way back we visited the Avoca Handweavers mill, a museum, factory and store that dates back to 1723, almost a hundred years older than my own country. They have on display and in use, the handweaving machines with which they make lambswood products.

Glendalough.

Our last weekend in Ireland, we spent exploring Dún Laoghaire, outside of Dublin. It is very easy to get there by taking a train from Dublin and you can visit its most famous attraction: the James Joyce Tower where he wrote his world-renown novel, Ulysses. After that, we found a farmers market and rested under a tree, surrounded by families and people enjoying the weekend. We walked along the pier and soaked as much as we could of all the beauty Ireland has to offer.

At the end of our trip, with all the great things we saw without going too far from Dublin, I am only left with a crave to see more of this beautiful country, and maybe live there for a longer time.

If you’re traveling through Europe, you cannot miss going here. Everything from the people, the food and beer, and the landscapes will fill your heart and create very fond memories.

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