Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ireland Day 2

Ireland Day 2 began by us picking up the dreaded rental car.  AHH!  Dad was NOT excited about driving on the "wrong" side of the road.  (Background -- My parents went to Australia earlier in the year and they had a few, um, mishaps with the driving on the other side of the road thing.)  Anyway, it's stressful for all involved.  Thankfully we had an awesome cabby who gave us some FANTASTIC directions on how to get out of the city.  We were even more grateful when we realized after an hour or so of driving that the GPS system in our car didn't work.  Good thing we ignored the GPS and listened to the cabby!

So we headed south through Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough (pronounced Glen-duh-lock).....which means valley of two lakes.  Glendalough was originally a Christian monastery that was completely self-sufficient.  Now a-days it's just a beautiful site of ruins. 

After touring the ruins, we headed down the trail to see the lakes.  We only made it to the first one before we turned back, but it was lovely!

(Forgive the weird picture on the mom's camera was seriously acting up.)

We headed back up the trail to the car and continued to work our way south in Ireland.  The landscape was BEAUTIFUL and we couldn't help but stop along the way!

Kilkenny Castle was next on our list of must-sees.  The castle was massive and so were the castle grounds but we were disappointed with the inside.  Just a mediocre castle (did I just say "mediocre castle"?!) in the opinion of our family.

Then we continued south to Waterford where Waterford crystal used to be made.  Apparently the yucky economy forced the plant to close and move to Germany....or something like that.  I have to tell you that I was incredibly disappointed with the city.  It's an old harbor city and I found it to be yucky and dirty.  PLUS, we had the most bizarre hotel in the entire world.  First of all, no AC.  It was stuffy and we needed AC.  Second, it was like a labyrinth!  I have some pretty hilarious video of us trying to get to our room and then find our way back to the hotel lobby.  It was frustrating at first but ended up being hilarious!  My dad worked a little front desk magic and got both of our rooms moved to an AC room (they only had a few) which also happened to be at the extreme ends of the labyrinth.  Oh, well.  

Tired of pub food, we headed down the road on foot to find something we could all agree on that wouldn't cost a fortune.  Food in Europe is EXPENSIVE.  Funny enough, we ended up going to a Chinese restaurant -- not exactly where I thought we'd be eating in Ireland.  ha!

If you don't know already, I have a love affair with ice cream.  I could eat it every day for every meal and be so happy.  Fat.  But happy.  So we just had to stop and get an ice cream cone on our way back to the hotel.  Again, the whacked out camera makes me look a little weird, but oh well!

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