Photo Roll: Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

If you're based in Dublin and you're looking to get out of the city for a day then Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains National Park is one of the many places you can visit to recharge your batteries, enjoy nature and simply escape the stress of daily life for a couple of hours. Glendalough is easily accessible ('getting there') with or without a car - major plus!

This was actually taken with my iPhone, a little stream near the Glendalough hotel.

Since I don't have a full driver's license yet and my friends also don't have a car we chose the Glendalough St. Kevins Bus service. You can catch the bus from Dawson's Street (parallel to Grafton Street) in the heart of Dublin and you'll be dropped off at the Glendalough Vistor's Centre. The drive is a little over an hour but reliable and currently the return fare is 20€. Well worth it since you don't have to pay an entrance free once you get there, although I suggest that you bring some cash if you want to eat and drink something at the nearby hotel restaurant, bistro or the snack shop near the Upper Lake.

Glendalough offers various walking trails with various difficulty degrees so you can be sure you'll find one that suits you. The shortest walk is the 1.7km Poulnass Trail but it has a climb of 150m and is rated moderate. The longest walk is the Spinc and Wicklow Way at 11km with an almost 500m climb. It is a hillwalk so you should know a little about hiking and have the stamina to complete the trail prior to embarking on the challenge.

For a leisure Sunday afternoon stroll with friends I suggest either the Miners' Road Walk or the Green Road Walk at 5km and 3km respectively. Both trails are rated easy but the landscape all around you is truly stunning. We opted for the Green Road Walk but took our time and walked for almost four hours, trailing off the path to admire the woodlands (whenever you were allowed to do so that is, please don't randomly venture off the beaten track, this is after all a National Park and it's just that for a reason!), take photos and chat away. The fresh air, distinct lack of city noises, cars and the knowledge that you need to be somewhere to do something is truly relaxing. Nature is stunning, appreciate it once in a while! (While I don't suggest that you leave your phone in the car or at home, as an emergency can always happen, I do recommend that you switch the sound off and leave it in your backpack! Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the world can do without you for a couple of hours, trust me.)

Without further ado, I present you the beauty that is Glendalough.

About 10 minutes after arriving we were greeted with this sight, nature really is the most beautiful gift Mother Earth ever gave us all, you just need to take the time to appreciate it.

If you read the blog post about my Chinese name then you'll know that this is  is duckweed, or  浮萍 (fúpíng) as it's called in Mandarin Chinese. It's part of my name and after finding this I really do believe that my Chinese teacher and I chose a really beautiful name.

If you paid attention in biology class, then you may vaguely remember that this are frog eggs. Around this time of the year there are a ton of them around. They'll eventually become tadpoles and those will eventually become frogs. I must admit this was the first time I've ever seen these close up, so I was mesmerized.

The Upper Lake, it was a little windy so the lake was a bit rough but very beautiful indeed.

We met some sheep along the way and it's a shame that my dad wasn't there to see this, he so would've said "Look, your family!" ~ Thanks dad.

Along the way you get to cross a few bridges, all either leading across little streams like the one above or wetlands.

I ventured into the woodlands for a cheeky photo, courtesy of my Chinese teacher who apparently neglected to inform me that she's actually a very apt photographer! The woman is fully of surprises, I tell you.
I will share the remainder of the photos without a comment from me, so just enjoy and by all means do visit, it's a lovely please you definitely shouldn't miss out on no matter whether you're just visiting Ireland or  actually living here! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask, if I can help I'll be happy to do so.

Sometimes, I take silly photos. This is such a photo. It is my Chinese teacher's shoe sole. Why I took this photo? I can't really answer that question for the simple reason that I don't actually know why I took it!

The end of a beautiful day, the early signs of a setting sun!