I'm a day behind in posting. Our wifi in Waterford wasn't that great as it was taking an age to try to upload photos that I eventually gave up. It's not much better here in Youghal, but it's not taking as long to upload photos. I forgot the camera cord in the car, so I won't be able to post the Waterford to Youghal photos until we arrive in Killarney later today.
Sometimes going off the plan is a wonderful thing.
The GPS routed us out of Dublin and up into the Wicklow Mountains using the scenic route (R115) rather than taking us on the N11. The first scenic pull off showed us an amazing view of Dublin.
What came next was absolutely amazing. We drove through the wild, gorgeous, uninhabited mountains of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Aside from a few sheep and a couple of cars, we saw nobody else. That was kind of cool and unnerving at the same time. Certainly it isn't someplace to break down.
Once we came out of the mountains, we drove through the small town of Laragh to get to Glendalough. The monastery was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. It was rather windy, but nice and sunny. Had it been cloudy, it would've been a miserable visit. The sun and the gorgeous views made the wind tolerable.
After our visit, we had lunch in the nearest restaurant, The Wicklow Heather. We both enjoyed our meals. I had a burger...my first non-Irish meal since arriving. Matt had Mushroom and Chicken Fettucine.
We then headed south to the town of Ferns. There we visited St. Aidan's (St. "Mogue") Holy Well, the ruins of the Medieval Cathedral, and the Cathedral Graveyard (the grave of Dairmuid MacMurchada, King of Leinster during the Norman Invasion of Ireland).
We got into Waterford in the late afternoon, too late to see anything that had a 4:30 closing time. Instead, we checked into our hotel, did a little shopping, and asked a shopkeeper for a restaurant recommendation. He recommended Emiliano's so we tried it. We ordered off the specials menu: Matt had some kind of steak, which was fairly good, and I had their chicken with wild mushroom cream sauce which was out of this world.
We stayed across the river at the Atheneaum House Hotel in Christendom, Waterford, co. Kilkenny. I may have been more impressed with this place had we had a view of the River Suir, but as it was, we had a view of the parking lot and our mattress was hard and sagging in the middle.
We did get complimentary breakfast, so that made up for the accommodations. I had the Full Irish Breakfast again, complete with black and white pudding this time. I definitely prefer the white pudding over the black, but the black pudding at this hotel was much tastier (can't believe I'm saying that) without that gamey taste I encountered in Dublin. It also had a lot more barley/grains than the one I had in Dublin.
Next stop, Reginald's Tower and then onto Youghal, Co. Cork.