Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Plan nr 1 for this mid term break with the kids

Yes, it's mid term break.... and my kids are off school the whole five days!

I took some days off work to be home with them and last week I decided that this mid term break would be special: not just a "let's hope the days pass quickly and in the meantime let the boys play PS3" week but much more of a "let's enjoy every minute of the time we have, in spite of the weather" week, and I say in spite of the weather, because the forecast is not very promising... we'll have to remember that quote (and I write it in capitals): THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER, BUT BAD CLOTHING...

I know, I know, my kids are also coughing, and sneezing all the time, so we may have to stay home some days, but I'll think of something special to do, even for those days.

So little by little. Yesterday was DAY1, and my chosen activity was: Day trip to Glendalough.

Glendalough, what a fantastic place, isn't it? Full of magic! You feel it the moment you get there.

For those of you who have not visited the this beautiful valley, just a little bit of history: Glendalough (Irish for the Glen of two lakes) is one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. It was founded in the 6th century by St Kevin and destroyed (only partially) by the English troops in late 1300s.

We've been there many times (every time some relative or friend comes to visit us in Ireland, we take them to Glendalough) and so far it was always full of visitors, but yesterday it was quiet! The weather was not ideal (let's put it that way), so we had the place almost just to ourselves. We could wander around, taking all the pictures we wanted 

We could enjoy the little details, those that you do not notice when the place is full of tourists

And don't tell anybody, but it's much better to visit when the weather is not so nice: specially the monastic city and the cementery need that little bit of rain and the fog coming down to touch the graves...just slightly.

So we visited the monastic city but couldn't take the walk to the upper lake this time... it started raining very very hard, but I do recommend you to do the walk when yo go to visit: it is really worth it! 

(Apologies for the quality, a bit blurry at the end)

As you can see in the video, the path is very well paved, so do not hesitate to take the buggy if your kids are very young. We used to do that when our kids were younger

Actually, from the visitor center, the path is completely paved all the way up to the upper lake, and even if you want to visit the monastic city, it's not difficult to move around with a buggy

Last time we walked all the way up to the upper lake was last August, and the views are just amazing...

We did not want to go just like that, without seeing the lakes, so we ran to the car and drove all the way up beside both lakes (follow the directions to the upper lake car park), and, at least from the car, we could see them. This is the lower lake, nice, isn't it?

After our visit and the rain, our bodies needed something warm, so next step was to find a place to have some lunch.

I would whole heartedly recommend a place on the way back to Dublin: it's called The Grange Kitchen and it's on the grounds of Djouce Golf Club, right outside Roundwood: lovely place with lovely food and such a warm atmosphere....just what we needed! 

But they're closed on Mondays, so we tried a different one this time: The Coach House, also in Roundwood (right in the village) and we had a lovely lunch for a very reasonable price.

We got home at around 4:30pm. Perfect time to watch a little bit of TV, do some colouring, have dinner and straight to bed.

Plan nr 1 has been a complete success. Let's see how tomorrow goes....

PS: If you decide to go to Glendalough and do not know how to get there, here are some directions. You can also get there by bus - check here

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