September 11th came and past almost as it never happened. I realize I am in Ireland and most people around me probably have no recollection of the horrific day in American history. As I drank coffee and walked around Dublin, 9/11 was all that was on my mind. I am proud to be an American and very blessed to be given this opportunity to travel the world.
Yesterday’s day trip to Wicklow County Ireland is a day to remember! A group of about 150 UCD students started the day at Powerscourt Gardens which consisted of gorgeous fountains, flowers, towers, and other architecture. As I stood looking at the view, I heard a man behind me say “wow. I’ve been waiting 30 years to come back here.” There are 32 counties in Ireland with Wicklow being the 17th largest and known as ‘The Garden of Ireland.’ Once again it has hit me every day how fortunate I am to be here.
The second stop was the Wicklow Mountain National Park where we visited the Glendalough Valley meaning ‘valley of two lakes.’ We had about an hour and a half to walk around the park and take it all in. Not only was it interesting to watch the people and the scenery while in the cemetery and on the trails, but we stumbled upon a group of deer beside the lake looking much different than I see in Indiana. The mother was a light brown with white spots covering her back. You may ask how we knew she was the mother. As she returned to the group, a dark brown almost grey fawn ran to her to nurse. It was a beautiful sight to see along the the three other deer close by.
Before the last destination, we stopped for about ten minutes at the Meeting of the Waters. This spot is where the Avonmore and Avonbeg rivers come together to form the Avoca River.
The final stop was the oldest handweaving mill in Ireland named the Avoca Mill. Initially the mill took the raw wool from the sheep of the surrounding hills and valleys and through a process of carding, spinning, dyeing and weaving transformed it into clothing and blankets for barter and sale. It was very interesting to get a tour of the mill and to be able to watch the handweaving process.