On July 28, we took our first (little) trip out of Dublin. We booked what Railtours Ireland calls a half-day tour, but it was long enough for our family with small children. The tour took a train South mostly following the coast to Arklow, with lovely views across Dublin Bay and beyond, then moved to a minibus through the Wicklow Mountains with visits in Avoca (the town featured in the BBC Series Ballykissangel) and Glendalough before returning to Bray to board a train back into central Dublin.
I especially enjoyed Glendalough, which was the site of a monastery founded in the Sixth Century by St. Kevin. The natural beauty of the two lakes in the valley was tremendous, and the ruins were quite interesting as well.
The train trip was scenic, and I enjoyed the drive through the mountains. (I got a couple of decent pictures from the train, but it’s hard to take a decent picture out of a bus window.) The guide for the day was entertaining and informative, too. I didn’t care that much about Avoca—a bit touristy for my tastes—but we had a pleasant lunch in the cafe there. (I might have liked it more if I had sufficient time to walk around the town, but with the family in tow, we only just had time to eat.) So, overall a good day, and an easy first outing from the city. Next up appears to be Belfast…
View from the train
The upper lake at Glendalough
Round tower at Glendalough
Noah at Glendalough
Megan and Noah