Glendalough and Wicklow Mountains National Park

We decided to spend our last few days of the journey back in Ireland so we could celebrate my birthday in the homeland of my ancestors.  We are getting quite familiar with the Irish landscape, and it is beginning to be our comfortable home away from home.  We have been to many parts of the island, but we had never yet ventured into the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin so we made arrangements to spend several days in an area of Ireland that is at once close to Dublin (<30 miles)  yet very remote and more than a little challenging to access by public transportation.  We first made arrangements to visit the workshop of a wonderful instrument maker in Roundwood, just outside the park.  He specializes in stringed instruments and has recently been focused on making traditional Irish harps.  The next day was my birthday and after spending a bit of time with Erin knocking around the town of Wicklow, I enjoyed the rest of the day wandering among the ruins of Glendalough and the trails of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.  Glendalough is the remains of a 7thC monastic community established by St. Kevin.  It was inhabited for centuries and was an important site of pilgrimage in Ireland despite numerous raids by Vikings and others.  Here are several pictures from the visit including the ruins, the park, a 1000 year old labyrinth stone in the museum and a more contemporary labyrinth to walk outside.  This is truly a special place.

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I am a professor of Political Science at Colorado Mesa University on sabbatical in the fall semester 2018. I study public land policy and a wide variety of other subjects. Currently I am studying about European Landscape Policies while on sabbatical. That is the focus of this blog.

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