Around The World: Exploring Ireland – Dublin & The Wicklow Moutains National Park

We only just went on this trip last month but it feels like a year ago. Our life continues to be crazy between long overseas trips, going through an eviction process with the renter that was living in the house we bought, and coordinating a transatlantic move. IF we ever do actually get settled again I’m pretty sure life will feel utterly slow compared to this gypsy life we’ve been living these past two years. 

Anyway, I finally had some time to post these pictures and recap our trip to Ireland. Aubrey and I had flown over to meet Will in Germany while he was there for a few cases then when he finished we met my sister, aunt and their SO’s for a week exploring the southeast side of Ireland. 

We started in Dublin for the first two days, taking turns as a group alternating between city site seeing and going on a horse tour through the Wicklow Mountains National Park because Aubrey wasn’t allowed on the tour. On our site seeing day we started with a stroll around Trinity College.  

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Then hopped on the bus over to the Guinness Storehouse for lunch and a few pints. 
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The facility was pretty incredible, especially the ground floor that walks and talks you through the ingredients used in making the beer. It’s a total sensory experience that was a refreshing break from normal brewery tours. We dined at the sit down service restaurant on the 5th floor then joined the tasting tour. 

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And finally claimed our free pints at the 7th floor panoramic bar that overlooks Dublin. 

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The rest of the afternoon we put in a few miles of walking to see as much of the city as we could, and may have also been in search of an authentic Irish bar playing traditional Irish music. I’m a little disappointed to say we weren’t successful in that endeavor. In fact, we continued to look for this hidden treasure for the rest of our trip to no avail. I finally determined that authentic pubs that the locals enjoy aren’t going to be playing traditional Irish music anymore than an American bar is going to be playing Oh Susanna. The crowd in the Temple Bar area wasn’t really our jive so we grabbed drinks for a few minutes then went on our way. 

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The next morning we met up with the tour bus at the Molly Malone statue for a day in the mountains. 

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The driver and tour guide was a spirited little man named Johnny and his driving was enough to make even those with the most rock hard stomach carsick. The tour was a bit unorganized due to some uncontrollable factors involving certain staff not showing up that day and a mix up in the horse tour departure time, so Johnny took us on an impromptu side tour stopping for a few photo ops here and there. 

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Eventually we got back on track and were lead up to a ridge to take in the view of Guinness Lake. The Guinness family actually resides here on this beautiful property, and if you look at the “beach” of the lake, it actually looks like the head of a pint of Guinness due to the dark brown colored water against the white sand. It was beautiful!

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The tour then led us to the Glendalough monastery where we had lunch and walked around the remains. 

This is Johnny.

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As the story goes, if you are able to put your arms all the way around this cross and touch your fingers together you will have long life and can make a wish. Will and I both were able to do it, but we’ll have to let you know if our wishes come true.

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And finally it was time for the horse tour. I should mention here, none of us are experienced riders, to say the least. I think I sat on a pony a time or two when I was very young and that’s about the extent of my proficiency. 

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Once we were mounted they took us around the ring a few times to teach us some simple commands for the horses and then we were on our way. 

Hannah’s horse, Morgan, was not a fan of being told what to do. So he made a number of pit stops for snacks along the way and left Hannah far behind the rest of us almost the entire tour. He provided a few hours of laughs for the rest of us :).IMG_7721

My favorite part of the tour was when we were going through the fields of gorse (a native yellow flower to Ireland that is beautiful yet thorny and apparently a nuisance to the farmers there). We were surrounded by it on all sides with the mountains expanding into the horizon, and it was breathtaking. And we were on horses. In Ireland. It just a magical moment for me.

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Shortly thereafter the tour was over and we returned to the stables, and caught the tour bus back to the city. 

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Our time in Dublin was up and next we were headed to the small seaside town of Cobh (pronounced Cove).

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