Our first hiking in Ireland – meet Glendalough

Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland, 09/11/13

Highest point (as per EveryTrail): 521 m
Lowest point (as per EveryTrail): 115 m

The fact that we moved to Ireland didn’t change our habit of hiking up the various peaks and summits. Since we don’t have a car here we can hike only in places connected with public transportation or in places where our “Irish” friends that have a car can take us to.

The first place where we needed a ride was the Irish national park “Wicklow Mountains” and it’s south border, glacial valley Glendalough. Glendalough valley has two glacial lakes, and it’s name comes from Irish Gleann Dá Loch and means exactly that – valley of two lakes. 🙂

Goran, yet another “native” Irish guy from Croatia, who likes to walk and hike around took us to Glendalough. He drove us through Wicklow mountains national park where there is no GSM signal in some areas and Internet was still not invented here. But GSM signal is not the only thing missing here. 🙂 For some 20 kilometres there is absolutely nothing around except weird vegetation that looks much like vegetation in the tundra.


So after 20 minutes of a beautiful monotonic ride we started our decent towards Glendalough where we saw a cool and odd waterfall that Goran called “AngleFall”. (That word does not exist even in Croatian, and translating made up word to English sounds even worse :)) ). It is in fact something between the torrent and the waterfall. 🙂


We stopped here shortly to take a few photos, and even though it was sunny the chilly wind made it quite uncomfortable to stay a bit longer.


We drove to the parking next to the old cemetery and cathedral ruins. There are couple of important things to see in Glendalough such as the old door that lead us into (and out of) the place. We passed by the cathedral ruins next to the monumental Round Tower and near the church of St. Kevin.



The longest among simple trails we took led us around the small and big lake and then through the old stone mine (and as everything around is black stone, wild guess, that is granite mine). As we were in national park with lakes and water, it is quite normal that we’ve seen several waterfalls.


The weird trees kept me fascinated for a while. They looked like evergreen trees and had such type of leaves but their leaves were yellow and falling off. I have no idea if there are such trees that are deciduous and act like evergreen? Weird. 🙂


And as we like to say, the one that would like to go down first needs to climb up, and in order to climb we first hid well in this ruin. It was so windy and cold that we needed good cover to eat our light breakfast.


Since that point the trail led uphill only…


You have to agree with me, it is much easier to hike uphill if you are like a bird… 🙂



We continued our ascent for a while but along the way there was one extremely interesting thing. The whole path was covered with timber filled with staples which protect from slipping in case there is moist around you. Moist in Ireland? Rarely 🙂



As usual, you will be rewarded with beautiful view once you reach the top. The view on two lakes, mountain goats and their weird trails is awesome.
But, as I said before, we have a sayin’ that the one who wanted to be on top wants to get to the bottom, and to get down from the Glendalough peak you need to walk down many many stairs. I have a confession to make. It was not easy for me. Sitting at computer desk for months, being naturally “big boned” and caring a few extra kilos of photo equipment is not your best friend when you are aware that your knees hurt after long walks. Yep, I was whining for a while, but that’s the way it is. 🙂


When we reached the lower levels we passed by beautiful waterfalls and when we reached the lakes there was a thing to see. The rescue team had a training and boys and girls were swimming in cold lake at 0 degrees outside.



So in the end it was pure 12.7km and 4 h of joy. Leaving Glendalough we passed by old cathedral and antic door leading to and from this cute little place.



For more information about the place search wiki for Glendaloguh.

Till the next hike

Cheers 🙂 (Or Slán)


Glendalough, Ireland at EveryTrail

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