28 January, 2014

Rain, goats and hiking

This weekend began early Friday morning when we boarded a Champlain-sponsored coach to Glendalough in Wicklow County National Park (where “Braveheart” was filmed) to hike for the day. 

Named the Irish word for "The Valley of the Two Lakes," Glendalough was just as beautiful as it's name implied. We learned that it was once a monastery settlement founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century, and continues to be one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. It was characteristically one of the greyest, foggiest, and rainiest days we’d seen so far, but we were all excited to venture out of the city and explore such a scenic and historical place.  So we layered on our rain jackets and hit the trails. 

We broke up into smaller groups and chose from a list of trails that were labeled with their lengths, level of difficulty, and featured sites. Soon after we started up the path, we stumbled upon an old stone tower, some cathedral ruins, and rows and rows of old weathered and moss-spotted headstones. We took a ton of photos before setting out to find the mountain goats that our trail map described. As we hiked along the lake toward an old abandoned mining quarry, before we knew it, we were stumbling upon a tribe (yes thats what it’s called-I looked it up) of four, woolly, spiral-horned feral goats grazing peacefully, just feet from the path. That was the highlight of our day and it made being drenched to the bone by 2:30 pm completely worth it. That night, once we got back, we hung out with friends and wound up going dancing at Sweeney’s, a pub that has become one of our group’s favorites. It was the perfect end to a really fun day.

Nicole Christopher
Champlain Abroad Dublin, Spring '14
Champlain College, Managment of Creative Media'15

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