By pure “luck of the Irish” – I got a nice Dublin trip on my schedule for 4th of July. I know I say this about everywhere, but Ireland has been at the top of my bucket list for a long time! The photos of lush greenery under grey skies have been luring me in ever since I can remember.
A couple days prior to departure, I asked my dad if he’d want to tag along for the ride. Flights looked promising (aka, looked like he would get first class) so of course he was down to join.
He got first class and I got to serve him the full Delta One service, three course meal and all.
Once we arrived, we went and rented a car right at the airport. I had a full day planned of exploring the countryside around Dublin. First we drove to Wicklow, which is an adorable little medieval fishing town. We stopped by Black Castle, a castle that was built in the 1600s but burned down shortly after. The ruins of it are beautifully set on the cliffs of Wicklow.
We got lunch at a little coffee shop, uniquely named The Coffee Shop, and continued on our way to Glendalough.
Glendalough, pronounced “glen•da•lock,” is a beautiful nature preserve park with two lakes set in a valley of mountains. It was so picturesque, with families and dogs frolicking around the lake and through the park.
We hiked up a little ways on one of the trails to see a tall waterfall. It was so pretty!
Then we took another trail to a run down medieval cemetery. It was eery but also beautiful!
After all that hiking, we treated ourselves to some ice cream in the parking lot. YUM.
At this point, I realized we came all the way to Ireland and I haven’t seen ANY sheep.. So of course, our next mission was to find a flock of sheep. I made my dad drive out of the way into even more rural areas. And finally… sheep!
We pulled over at one farm and behind us a man with his crook and sheepdog walked by, herding a giant group of sheep. I was in heaven..
We were almost ready to call it a day, when we realized we still had a couple hours and a full tank of gas. So we made one more pit stop at Howth. I had heard so much about this town called Howth and a “beautiful lighthouse” that was a must-see. So I put it in the GPS and it’s an extra hour away. Finally we get there, only to see the most disappointing lighthouse you’ve ever laid eyes on. I don’t even have a photo to show you, because it was just plain ugly and uninteresting. I was thinking they MUST have been talking about a different lighthouse, but whatever, we made the most of our time in Howth. We got dinner at this little Australian-Italian restaurant and walked around the marina.
I did later find out, it’s a different lighthouse that I guess you have to hike to, outside of Howth. So next time I’m in Dublin, I’ll go see what the real hype is all about 🙂
This was our cute little rental car.
By the end of the day, my dad and I were exhausted – but it was no doubt a successful, adventure-filled day. I’d say it was my luckiest trip to date! 🍀