It takes a fantastic guide with personality, a good mix of tourists and a sense of humor to turn a really lousy weather day into a good experience. Choosing the Wild Wicklow Tour as one of my conference options (provided free to attendees, normally 28 Euro), I was excited to get out of the city to see the mountains and other sights on the tour.
The rains, however, had a different idea. The rain in the city would follow us all day and we would then meet up with the fog. For many, this would have been enough to ruin the day but our group couldn’t be sad as Dennis, the owner of Wild Wicklow tours, was our guide for the day and his humor and knowledge kept our spirits up all day (not an easy feat). There is a reason this is an award winning, highly regarded tour, it’s Dennis!
We would start along the Dunlaoghaire Harbor walking around and watching the group of swimmers (yes, swimmers who are out every day for a dip no matter what).
We stopped for a morning coffee at a lovely shop with handmade goods, pastries and lovely grounds to walk around.
The fog hampered any chance of seeing mountains, lakes and such but Dennis described them so nicely that I could imagine them and just in case I had a horrible imagination he gave us the brochure! I had to laugh and was almost tempted to take a photo of the brochure with blue skies and glistening water on the lakes and call it my tour photo – Instagram can make anything seem real, right?
We stopped at a famous (for some) film location for a scene in the movie “P.S. – I Love You” (great book, so-so movie) Kudos to Dennis as the fog was so thick you could barely see the road and he navigated it like a champ. His narration was peppered with fun so no one was sleeping or listening to music, we were all attentive despite looking out to the fog on all sides of the bus.
After concluding our morning sightseeing (of the fog and rain) we settled into the warm pub for lunch. I’m not sure why the pub had a Terminator life sized display at the entry to the rooms & pub but it made for conversation nonetheless. The food was homemade and set up cafeteria style so you could get a tray and pick out what you liked (this is at your cost and not included in the tour fee).
Fully fed we were ready to continue and this is when the clouds opened on “full” for a downpour. Sheets of rain pelted us as we each ran onto the bus onward toward Glendalough. Dennis provided us with large umbrellas as we began our walk in the Monastic settlement from the 6th century. On one hand, there were no crowds to contend with, on the other hand you had to be able to balance umbrella and camera as you watched the puddles. See this is how memories are made!
Walking through the cemetary and buildings we crossed over the bridge to walk along the path toward the larger lake.
Dennis would meet us at the lake, which at this time had an interesting look as the fog had slightly lifted. The rains subsided enough for our umbrellas to go down, just in time! He gave everyone a taste of Jameson Whiskey and we toasted to a our day in Ireland. It was a good day.