After waking up to the sound of seagulls I finally wanted to go to the sea. Dublin is so close to the sea, I tend to forget that from times.
A quick bite and a tea later (instant coffee is beyond my pain tollerance) we rolled our luggage towards the car hire in the Southwest of town. After taking care of all the formalities, we stashed our luggage in the trunk of a brand new white VW Polo and went for the first few meters repeating our Mantra: To the left, to the left (as in Beyoncés song Irreplacable). It was my job to navigate, leaving the driver seat to my friend who already had a bit of experience with driving on the other side of the road. I had picked out a few stops for the day and I almost cried of joy when we reached the first stop.
We made our way up to Killney Hill, a place I found through Instagram and Twitter. As it was rather early on a Sunday morning, there were not many tourists and more locals, going for a morning stroll in the park. We enjoyed the view of Dublin city and the Poolbeg chimneys on one side and the view of the coastline towards Bray on the other. As I mentioned earlier I was a little anxious that the travel plans would not work out, the sights and stops I picked were shitty or a waste of time/money and that I might ruin the holiday with my plans and my perfectionism.
We walked around until we finally found the thing I was hoping to see: The pyramid on Killney Hill. I climbed the steps and was blown away by the gorgeous view, the blues and the greens and the sound of the ocean. On the way back to the car park we grabbed a coffee, a scone and a scrumptious piece of cake to prepare ourselves for the next part of the way.
Powerscourt Estate and Gardens
Next up was Powerscourt Estate with it’s beautiful gardens. I had been to the Wicklow mountains before, but it had always rained there when I went. I even got soaked to the bones once, so the bright sunshine and blue sky that welcomed us was quite surprising. We took a stroll around the lovely gardens with a large variety of flowers, giantic roses amongst them and saw a bunch of very cute ducklings by the pond. After a sandwich in the Avoca cafe on the premisses we went back to the car to find the car park completely packed. Again it seemed that we beat the masses and arrived early enough to have an enjoyable stroll when it was not too crowded yet.
My friend did a great job at driving us to Glendalough. The Monastic site was pretty crowded, so we made our way to the upper lake first, to stretch out the legs after the drive. We grabbed a cup of coffee on the way and had a fine picnic on the lake shore with some Avoca goodies. What a bummer that the recipe for the Oatie and the Tiffin with Honeycomb are not included in the Avoca baking book (which is one of my all-time favourites).
We witnessed two guys having a funny but professional photoshoot, including Matrix like moves in their pictures. Maybe that was the origin of the weird idea of my friend to have me take pictures of her lying on things…
We just hung out by the water for some time and when we walked back, it seemed like most of the tourists had gone already, so we had the monastic site almost to ourselves.
We arrived in our hotel outside of town rather late and didn’t need a big dinner after all the treats we had during the day, so we walked into the KFC next door to the hotel and had a bite there. One of my personal highlights was the joy my friend felt, when we entered the hotel room. For the same price as a hostel room with bunkbeds in Dublin city, we had a spacious double room with two large beds near Kilkenny. We were hardly through the door, when my friend spotted the bed and took a leap into bed like they do in movies.
We spent our night with writing and picking out pictures, all the pressure had fallen off me during that day. The gorgeous weather had played it’s part, too and I was almost certain, that this first roadtrip day was so perfect (even though not according to “plan”) that it could be really hard to top. After a long day with 160km drive we both fell into bed. tbc
Read more on our journey: Day 4: Kilkenny > Cashel > Glengarriff