Into the Wild (Wicklow Mountains)

Friday was my last day in the Dublin office. Two weeks went by quickly! Friday I returned to Cornucopia for dinner and had some amazing butternut squash and cashew canneloni. Then I revisited the Irish Film Centre to see Mic-Macs, whose preview before A Single Man had piqued my interest. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who also produced Amélie, it is a delightful, quirky film. I’m very glad I saw it here, as it may not make theatrical release in the United States. I wish I’d used my phone to record the little opening announcement from Nokia about silencing cell phones, though; it was just so odd.

Saturday I hopped on a bus to take a tour of the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough monastery. Once again the weather was beautiful. We started off in the southern suburbs of Dublin, where we stopped at a bathing site along the coast and wound our way past what Daddy would call “stately homes.” And I mean stately — Bono, Enya, Van Morrison, and others have houses there. After a stop at the Avoca Handweavers (which was full of cute but expensive things that reminded me of Anthropologie), we drove up in to the mountains. There are still patches of snow covering the heather and gorse, and it was a bit chilly. It felt like “real” Ireland though — wild and rugged. We saw numerous lakes, including one that they claim is shaped like a glass of Guinness. The many scenic vistas provided ample opportunity to practice my self-portrait photography skills (having been informed that I ought to actually be in some of my photos). I definitely improved my framing, but need to work on the smile.

Lunch was in a little town called Laragh. I opted out of the standard [restaurant/pub] and dined on a feta and tomato quiche at a little local organic shop. I think the Irish have a thing about quiche. It seems to be a standard vegetarian option at many establishments whose fare is otherwise un…quiche-like? This worked out well for me, because at places that don’t have quiche (or are out of it) I usually ended up with just a bowl of soup and some brown bread. Anyway. The shop is apparently popular among cyclists, and between them and the bags of quinoa and jars of homemade jam, I could easily have been up in the Santa Cruz mountains rather than in Ireland. Finally we set out for Glendalough, a 6th century monastic site where they filmed part of Braveheart. The surviving buildings and surrounding cemetary are just down-river from two lakes and we had a chance to walk around the lakes a bit after visiting the monastery.

All in all, the tour was excellent, so thanks Tina for the recommendation! Up in the mountains, our guide had pointed out a stretch of road where they shot a scene from the movie P.S. I Love You, so after the tour I watched it online courtesy of Megavideo (hey, my options here are limited). Sunday I ventured back out into Dublin again, with the primary goal of acquiring a few gifts, though I also visited St. Stephen’s Green and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Took care of a few final things at work and then packed up for my last night in Google housing.

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