Wicklow Mountains and Last Days in Ireland
Trip Start Jun 27, 2010
11Trip End Aug 19, 2010
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We left Galway by 11:00 and stopped in a small town on the way back for lunch. We arrived back in Donnybrook, unpacked and checked our email. We discuss what to do with the remaining three days and decided to go on a bus tour of the Wicklow Mountains and we called to make a reservation. Fortunately, the man I spoke with asked if we wanted to be picked up and I said yes and he asked how close we are to the Burlington Hotel and we aren't far. He asked us to be there at 9:25. We weren't very hungry when the evening came and Skip went to the Donnybrook Fair grocery store and brought back a few items. We watched TV and went to bed.
We got up and dressed, ate something and walked the mile or so to the Burlington. We went inside and asked the concierge if the Wild Wicklow Tours' bus comes into the entrance or stops outside? Her name was Shiela and I said that I spelled my name with "ei" and that her "ie" was unusual. She said that her real name is Joanne and that in Gaelic it looks like Shiela and she wrote it down and I couldn't possibly spell it for you so we took her word for it. Somehow, she ended up being called Shiela but her passport says Joanne and it has become very complicated. Anyway, she was very cute and friendly and very helpful per usual of the Irish people.
Our bus came a little late, but it came and when we got on, the bus driver, over the microphone, asked us our names and where we came from in from of a full bus! He then broke in to singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"! He was a very entraining driver and very Irish.
We started with driving through Dun Laoghaire (same place where we went for dinner last week) and the driver/guide Mike gave us time to look across the Dublin Harbor to Howth (rhymes with growth).
We then stopped at Avoca Handweavers for coffee and a scone.
The Wicklow Mountains were beautiful! They are only 10 miles south of Dublin and very remote which made it handy for the rebels to hide out in 1798 which they did for many years.
We stopped for lunch in Laragh in a pub which was good, but not great. The staff were not as friendly as most places. Then we went for a short distance to Glenalough which means "valley of two lakes". It is the location of a monastic settlement found by St. Kevin in the 6th century.
I (Skip) played my last round of golf and Elm Park Golf course. I teed off early and had cool but clear day. I finished my round, having the course master me rather than the other way round, and I had the opportunity to thank Seamus Green the golf pro for his hospitality and introductions to others during my four rounds on the course. I highly recommend this course to anyone visiting this area for its challenge and the welcoming attitude to visitors. www.elmparkgolfclub.ie
After a refreshing nap Sheila and I went to the Dumdrum Shopping Centre. It still amazes me how large and diverse the center is and expansive. We wanted to do some follow up shopping and we decided to go to dinner at Harvey Nichols Restaurant. We were taken to a table overlooking the courtyard of the mall complex and had great service. We ordered appetizers Salmon for Sheila and Cappuccino for me. They were very delicious. Sheila order the rib eye steak and I ordered the sirloin. They were cooked to perfection (Blue) and the vegetables were also. We told one of the servers that the meal was one of the three best ones we have had in all of Ireland. Much to our surprise we were sent a plate of small chocolate deserts compliments of the Chef. This is truly a restaurant that we would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fantastic (and expensive) dinner.
We rose, had some breakfast and talked about what we need to do today. Obviously, we have to pack and sort out our stuff. We reserved a cab for the airport and will take a small trip in the area to do some last minute things. We decided to go out to a pub we had not been to yet call the Kileys of Donnybrook. We walked to it and along the way I (Sheila) took this