I woke up early after Alex and his first night out in Dublin. The night before we had decided to join our new found friends, the Danes, for a day tour of Wicklow county. Rising around 6am, I wandered down to the showers and prepared for the days travels. Having chosen my Norwegian sweater and jeans, with thick wool Civati cap, I was ready for our exciting journey. I woke Alex and after he had gotten ready we made our way down into the common room of Kinlay House. There we met up with our friends around 8:55 and proceeded to jump, hop and skip to catch our giant purple tour bus.

It was going to be a great day.

We started off leaving Dublin center with our guide. He cheerfully introduced us to the history and spirit of the region from the center and streets of Dublin to the ring developments and the beautiful quirks of the Wicklow mountains. In between every breath he tossed in a joke or two and when a break came along in the history, he threw in some wisdom. The Wicklow Mountains are the area where tannin has been absorbed by the natural spring waters and it colours the water a deep Guinness brown. It is the birthplace of Guinness, the set for Braveheart and holds the lake where Scrambled Eggs was first conceived and written.

As we wound our way through narrow valleys and along tiny roads we discovered the beauty of the area and its innate charm..Rolling hills covered with turf and heather just turning the first shades of purple, preparing to bloom in the coming weeks. We arrived at an old army barracks which had been converted to a child prison,then to an orphanage, and now the building is used as a site for peace talks between northern Ireland and Ireland. It was a touching site.

We then headed to an ancient monastic town straddling two lakes. We wandered about and explored the graves embedded deep into the turf before deciding to tough out the rain and walk to the upper lake. we met the bus then and after some chips and malt vinegar we headed on.

Alex and I - Celtic Cross

One of the crosses is known as a wishing cross:

We broke for lunch in a small village along the way with a beautiful cathedral and great fish and chips. We shared the fish and chips and a 1/4lb hamburger special.

As we climbed back aboard it was time to adventure back down out of the mountains. We stopped at Thomas More’s meeting of the waters:

Girls at Meeting of the waters

Alex and I at Meeting of the waters

Between napping and enjoying the driver’s humor we arrived in Dublin, took a breath and then prepared for the evening.