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Wicklow, Ireland wasn’t what you would expect from the postcards! Of course it had the hackneyed emerald hills, sporadic bursts of sunshine intermittent with torrential downpour and a bustling pub on every corner. But, it was the painterly, panoramic wilds of Irish uplands, the granite outcrops, the constant (yet, fading) hiss of lingering traffic and the overly-welcoming people that truly won and warmed my heart.
Staying in the quiet, yet ambient town in our oxymoronic 5-Star Hostel, we made the winding (slightly stomach turning) drive to the National Park. This drive, although beautiful, was somewhat arduous and nail-biting, especially for those on a student budget (praying we wouldn’t scratch the car on the sharp turns). But, all the stress was worth it when the almost blissful ridges of monied villages and monastic settlements came in to view – the only thing missing was a chorus line of ‘Hallelujahs’ – it was truly heavenly magnificent.
The hike in the National Park, with its brutal and changeable Irish weather involved steep and leg-burning ascents, grand scenic gestures with lingering vistas. It was saturated with blanket bogs and an enduring landscape that was scoured with glaciers, and drystone and was to some extent, abstract, yet muted – a true visual nirvana. Such beauty made the hairs on my not-shaven-for-2-weeks legs peak like some form of orgasmic prelude to one of the most scenic places in the world – that, or I was not dressed proportionally to the dismally cold Summer! I like to go with the prior for dramatic effect!
Whatever you call Wicklow, it is a place that all senses need to visit. The 50 shades of green moorlands, the heather stained hillside and the treasures you find around every corner – I will never forget the day I visited Wicklow.