Scenes from an Irish bus

When travelling Ireland by public transport, much time is spent on the bus or train. My time on buses is filled with fond memories – I have been to many picturesque destinations around this vividly green and historical Emerald Isle.


I also feel the missed opportunities of locations along the way that I admired – castles, colourful villages and mountain vistas. Some I made a note to specifically visit, others passed so quickly out the window that I didn’t even know their name.

I sit and gaze out the window in wonder, sometimes making a hasty attempt to snap a photo. It is an adventure to discover these hidden gems along the way, places tourists may miss on their way to larger hubs and attractions.

For me, it is these quaint towns and hidden corners that draw me in. It is in these tiny towns that I have seen the true picture of Ireland. It is here that I find hospitable and friendly locals, eager to share information about their town, history and the local attractions.


It’s not that such interactions cannot occur in bustling cities but it’s the countryside that I am drawn to. It’s hard to interact with locals when you’re in a bustling city like Dublin, navigating through throngs of tourists to get from A to B. In contrast, one can leisurely stroll through smaller towns, taking time to see the sights and learn about the town’s history. In these small towns and villages, I find that locals and businesses have the time to direct visitors to the best there is to see, eat, drink and experience.





Adventures in the wild

Well, not really. I went into the forest but it wasn’t exactly wild. There are numerous marked paths for easy, moderate or difficult walks. The choice is up to you! It was a rainy day which made the trail muddy but this did not affect the ease of walking. It’s a well maintained path that leads you to the Upper Lake and beyond. The bottom of my jeans became splattered with mud without me even noticing but I didn’t care, I was enjoying the experience and amazed by the incredible beauty of nature.

I am talking about Glendalough – a place filled with history and the site of impressive forests, waterfalls, loughs (lakes), mountains and valleys. It is just an hour outside of Dublin – an easy weekend escape from the city.

The day is wet and foggy but this adds to the mysterious beauty of this location.The first thing I notice beyond the wild beauty, is the silence. You cannot find this kind of silence – only in nature. Mountains rim the lake, rising into the fog which hangs low and obscures their peaks.

For history buffs and lovers of architecture, the Glendalough Monastic Site is just a short walk from the visitors centre. You can see the 30 metre high round tower before you even enter the walking paths. It rises high in the sky and draws the eye towards it. Founded by St Kevin in the 6th century, there are a number of historical buildings to see. When you finish exploring this ancient site, continue on your way down to the loughs. I have learned this Irish word which means lakes, and I intend to use it!

Glendalough is set in a valley between mountains and is an area with spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife.

Lower Lake

I was surprised by how quickly I was rewarded on my walk by coming across the Lower Lake. The rain drops falling caused gentle ripples to appear on its smooth surface. Across the lake I can see a few buildings nestled within the trees. It is a calm sight, one that can still your mind as you take in the view. On this day, all I can hear is the rain drops falling around me and the call of birds. After spending time just relaxing as I took in the view, I returned to the track to continue my journey towards the Upper Lake.


It is a wooded path that takes you through a green paradise of trees and on your left, the trees rise up along the mountain. It is well signed and maintained, there is no need to worry about getting lost, signs are plentiful and what is required in regards to your ability is also signed. Arrows help you along the way, different colours depending on which walk you take. I am following the green arrows today (along the Green Path) to take the easiest walk to the Upper Lake.

Upper Lake

Both sides of the lake are rimmed by mountains, I stand in the valley on the edge of the lake. Trees rise in rows on the mountain, like green soldiers in the distance, silent protectors of the mountain and lake. Some of them are completely obscured by the fog. If I look carefully I can just make out their shapes.

Ducks dot the lake close to the edge and are seemingly curious about the day’s visitors. Here I stand, taking in the views and colours of the landscape. Greens, browns, reds and yellows dominate. The lake itself is dark, reflecting the gloomy sky above it as rain continues to fall. It is breathtaking, a place of rugged beauty.


As I stood and took in the peaceful surroundings, ironically, it was nature that broke me from my reverie. One of the ducks had quacked loudly, a sound that made me jump as I enjoyed the silence. This is a mountain paradise, calming and beautiful. I didn’t want to leave and stayed at the lake to walk around its perimeter and take in the views. It is a scene I could not tire of. The lake in the valley between mountains; the fog covering the mountains across the lake; the natural and beautiful environment.

Glendalough is a peaceful place to escape the city. Surrounded by mountains, it is a place to walk, hike and relax. I have taken just one walk of many here, there are many more parts of Glendalough to explore. Have you visited this beautiful area? Let me know if you have and share your thoughts!


Ireland’s attractions

I have been fortunate throughout my time in Ireland to visit many locations – natural wonders; historical sites; places filled with magic and mythology; and vibrant cities. I have explored this great country, yet there is still more to see and experience.

One by one, I will take you through each location and share my wonder, my experiences and information about truly breathtaking places that need to be seen to be believed.

There is much to see, there is history to absorb and stories to hear – some related to the rebellion, to plague and suffering, to poverty and famine. Some relate to giants, fairies, leprechauns and other mythical beings, others are humorous and will make you laugh.

Ireland is a place that needs to be experienced and cherished. Use all senses to explore this great country. See breathtaking sights and marvel at the shades of green present in her landscape; inhale the wonderful scents of nature, of delicious food; touch stones that have been there for thousands of years; indulge your taste buds as you try local food and drink; hear the sound of crashing waves, of wildlife, of wind whispering through the trees, of Irish music and dance that makes your feet want to join in.

Discover Ireland’s beautiful and unique locations!

It begins

My life as an intern brought with it changes. I am once again nervous and excited, just as I would be were it an entirely new job. I want to do my best and make a good impression. I also want to soak in all the learning I can, experience Irish culture, music and dance. Even hearing the Irish language (Gaelic). It sounds incredibly difficult, yet beautiful.

It’s an opportunity and experience that I intend to make count. Opportunities need to be given the attention they deserve. It may mean extra time and effort but it is a worthwhile investment.Like any new venture, I am unsure what the outcome will be but it is exciting to find out.

As a writer, I find Dublin inspiring. It is a literary city with many nooks and crannies to explore. History blends with modern and vibrant cities surrounded by quaint villages and scenic landscapes. Many well-known writers hail from this beautiful country and have left their mark through their books and other written works.

There are even literary themed pub crawls that take visitors to pubs frequented by literary greats such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Seamus Heaney to name a few. Ireland is a place to find inspiration – mesmerising views, historic locations and folklore can have that effect. I am inspired to write simply by being here for a few days. My Irish adventure will be one to remember!


Ireland Adventure

Who could visit the beautiful country of Ireland and not be taken in by her landscapes, legends and abundant history?

My love for Ireland and all things Irish began a long time before I finally stepped foot on her fertile soil. It was the photographs of lush green landscapes that seemed like they had jumped straight out of the pages of a fairy tale that began this love affair. Then it was the discovery of Ireland’s music and dance. When I saw Ireland for the first time in 2014, that love was cemented permanently.

The landscape was even better than the photographs; greener than you can imagine and filled with historic castles and legends. The Irish people I met were friendly and welcoming with that delightfully alluring Irish accent.

My in depth exploration of Ireland in 2017 has led me to discover more, see more and have much to share of my observations. My Irish adventure is enlightening, poignant and a life changing experience. Follow the adventure and discover Ireland!