Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

We visited beautiful County Wickow this weekend and enjoyed nature walks, good food, and the all-around fabulousness of Glendalough and Laragh. Glendalough means ‘valley with two lakes’ and is a paradise of nature walks and rocky scenic views.

In Laragh, we enjoyed hospitality and a hot breakfast at Tudor Lodge. It is located within walking distance of most things in Laragh, but particularly of interest is its proximity to the Woolen Mills which is situated at the opening of a trail leading to Glendalough and the Monastic City sites along the way.

Our most memorable dining experiences on this trip were our dinner at The Wicklow Heather. The menu is online, don’t read it if you are hungry since it will only make you hungrier. Reservations recommended – it’s a shame to rush a good meal.

For lunch on one day and an early dinner on another, we enjoyed food from The Glendalough Fayre. It is a sweet little market with a deli/kitchen and eating area. They even have bottles of wine! Ooh, the cupcakes alone kept me coming back. Delicious treats and an emphasis on fair trade products.

View of Glendalough

View of Glendalough

Bus Fare Increase

With 2009 comes many new changes, particularly in the economy. One change that is noticed every day may be the bus fares. Bus Eirèànn has raised its adult single fare 0.15 cents to €1.60. Which means that if you are taking three or more bus trips in a single day, it is more cost effective to buy a Cork City day saver pass for €4.40, giving the rider unlimited travel on city routes for day of purchase. Bus Eireann’s website has up-to-date fare information.

Posted inside a Bus Eirèànn vehicle

Posted inside a Bus Eirèànn vehicle

No More Zavvi

Zavvi record store on The Grand Parade in Cork City has now closed. It stayed open for quite a while as the company failed financially. As of today, it was reported (BBC) that a total of 19 of their stores were sold to HMV. Before this process began, Zavvi had 11 retail stores in the Republic of Ireland. In their Ireland and UK operations, they employed a total of 2,300 full-time staff, 629 employees will be able to retain their jobs after the dust has settled. We were thankful to have gone the week before and found several good books for 50% off. 

Zavvi store on Grand Parade in Cork City

Zavvi store on Grand Parade in Cork City

Romantic Getaways

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought of some romantic getaways. Of course, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s weekend to enjoy these – in fact prices may be better at off-peak times. So you get credit for the gift twice, give a photo of the destination or a book about it for Valentine’s then the actual trip can take place later!

Paris, France; London, England; St. Malo, France; Cotswolds, England; Venice, Italy; Napa, California; Aspen, Colorado; New York, New York (like in Sleepless in Seattle or An Affair to Remember); Someplace quiet in New England (like Vermont, Cape Cod, Maine,…); Dingle, Ireland; Provence, France; Vienna, Austria; Jackson Hole, Wyoming (in the summer); Montreal, Canada; Fiji, Bali, or Bora Bora; Amalfi Coast, Italy; Kinsale, Ireland; Bermuda; and just about anywhere you are when you’re with the one you love.

London in Love

I just read ‘Julie’s Gift’ written by Kevin Kirsch, a husband who is not a feelings sharer, but through this novella lets us all know (including his wife) that he does have deep feelings. It is a nice light read that may make you look at your unromantic partner a bit differently since it reminds you that just because feelings are not shared doesn’t mean they’re not felt. 

If you are a partner/spouse unable to share your feelings, but want to show that it’s inside somewhere so why not use Mr. Kirsch’s words instead and give the book as a gift. Even better if you slip in a pair of tickets to London to complete the gift! Julie’s Gift has great sample itineraries (how they actually spent their days in London) as well as the author’s Top Ten London Travel Tips for the Guys (funny and useful list).

The plot is not riveting and you won’t find a car chase, but that’s the best part. It revolves around a couple’s anniversary trip to London, England. The husband admits his idea of a trip is from the couch to the fridge, but goes out of love for his wife. It unfolds from there. The coolest thing about this book is that it was penned in secret by the husband and presented to her as a Valentine’s surprise!

Julie’s Gift is available for $11.95 from Amazon.com and BookLocker ($5.95 as a download) or $8.63 from Discount Book Sale.

London itineraries, true love, and a light cheerful read

London itineraries, true love, and a light cheerful read