April 5, 2010

Trip to Ireland

It's been long, very long, since I last wrote. Not that I didn't have anything to write about. I was just being lazy. In fact there are quite a few things that I should write about - trip to Ireland, honeymoon trip to Himalayas, some other random topics. Well, I'll start with trip to Ireland. That's where I was when I wrote the last post.

I went to Dublin in Aug. Not particularly good or bad time to go, as weather in Dublin is not anyway something to write home about. It's either cloudy or raining. I think that's the reason most of the Dubliners hit the bar pretty much every evening :-) Being in Dublin, and being the comrade that I am :), I had to do the same.

There were lots of good moments shared with the colleagues including drinking wine till 4 in the morning and then going straight to the airport for flight back home. But, highlight of the trip was a weekend excursion to Glendalaugh, a historical town in Wicklow county in Ireland. I went alone. Yes, I can do things like these. Once I took a bus in San Francisco to its last stop, which thankfully was a beautiful beach away from the city, and came back after strolling on the beach and some light hiking. All alone.

The trail that I picked up for walking in the greens of Ireland is called the wicklow way. I didn't do the whole circuit because that takes time and also because I was scared of getting bored. I walked from Roundwood to Glendalaugh. Fairly easy trail of 12 km, with an ascent of merely 350m (1200 ft). To reach Roundwood, I took the Glendalaugh bus service (aka St Kevin bus service) from Dublin. I had lunch in Roundwood. The scary part was that locals didn't even know about this trail. One guy confirmed that the correct path to the trail was what I was thinking it was, and so I started.

Man, I didn't see anyone else going on that trail, for a long long time. It was all deserted, with few farms on either side of the road. I wasn't even sure that I was on the correct trail. After walking for about 3 km, I saw a man going somewhere in his SUV. I asked him and he confirmed that I was on the right track. Sigh of relief for me. By the way, it was a lovely day. For a change it was not raining and the sun was shining. It was really beautiful all round -- beautiful green farms for long long distance, cattle grazing in the farms, green grass all around and clean air to top it all.

I reached Glendalaugh after a hike of 3.5 hrs. Had some coffee and snacks, and went straight for some sightseeing. Now, I had to take a decision to either stay, or go back by the bus in the evening. I decided to stay and checked into a hotel. First time I met a hotel guy who didn't know where in the world India is. See, I go to offbeat places.

I found Glendalaugh beautiful, mesmerizing in the beginning. It was little haunting too with all the quietness and a huge graveyard marking most of the town. Soon loneliness took over me and it seemed pretty depressing to me. Thankfully the waitress in the hotel was very charming. Had a little chat with her. She was a student from Malaysia, studying in Dublin and working in Glendalaugh on the weekends. Anyway that was it. I hit the sack rather early that day as I was quite tired after walking for 12 kms.

Next day morning was lovely. Weather gods were being gracious to me. I met a guy in his older years, by the canal. We chatted a bit in the sun. He had come back to live in the Wicklow county, after working in various parts of the world. It was a light, interesting chat. After having my breakfast and spending some more time there I took the bus back to Dublin. So ended my weekend trip to Wicklow.


  1. Good one !!!

  2. I really liked the place, but if I had to stay, guess I'd have been really scared stiff too :) Nice one!