Before starting on what happened in the Wicklow Mountains, the five of us got together for the first time on the 14th July 2017, when we had dinner at Veginity, my current favourite restaurant in Dublin… in Ireland… oh well, in the world! I have only been there this one time but you can be sure I will return.
On the 15th July 2017 we hit the road, even though late that night we came back to Dublin to spend the night before starting the main road trip. We went to Wicklow Mountains in this first day, including The Great Military Road, Glencree and Glendalough Monastic Site.
Our path in the Wicklow Mountains with a little history…
Wicklow Mountains National Park was established in 1991. Originally covered with forests, it was cleared by neolithic farmers.
The Great Military Road (R115) was constructed between 1800 and 1809 to open up the mountains to the British Army to help them put down insurgents from the 1798 rebellion.
Glencree includes the barracks (used by the British Army from 1800 to 1815, then as a reformatory school, then to house german prisoners during the WWI, then to house german pilots and agents who planned anti-British activities who crashed in Ireland, and finally to care for german and polish war orphans), the German War Cemetery (which includes 134 graves of mostly German personnel and civillian from WWI) and Glencree River.
We have only seen Lough Tay, a lake shaped like a guinness pint, from up above because it was a long way down to see it and it was freezing (not literally)!
Lastly we went to Glendalough Monastic Site, a christian monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. We saw the gateway, the round tower and the cathedral, but my favourite part was the lake we explored afterward.
On our way back to Dublin we passed through Blessington, even though we did not actually stop there. Back in Dublin, we went to a place called Yogism, where we ate amazing pancakes and crepes, since we were too hungry to settle for a frozen yogurt.