Glendalough- 40 shades of green

They say Ireland has 40 shades of green.  Well, that is certainly true.  It’s not called “the emerald isle” for nothing!


I realized I never finished sharing with you all the photographs from my day trip to Glendalough.  This post focuses on the trees, lakes, and natural beauty of the area.


If you didn’t catch it, visit the first post about Glendalough by clicking here; featuring the monastery and graveyard area of St. Kevin.

The second post is here and explains a bit about the Irish round tower (which can also be seen in the photograph below:


Dogs will be shot- they scare the sheep.  Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

The Irish round tower and the monastery site can be seen in the distance



A walk through 40 shades of green


I went on a small group half day tour; we had a nice time and a knowledgable guide.  The tour was through day tours unplugged. You can learn more by clicking here. I enjoy going on small group tours because I like getting to know the other people on the tour. A lot of the time, there are other single travelers and it’s nice for all of us to exchange travel stories and ideas of what to do next. One of the girls from this trip and I went out for dinner afterwards to the winding stair in Dublin- very good food!


One of the lovely things about this trip is that we actually had free time on our own to hike and visit whatever we wanted at our own pace, rather than following the guide the entire walk. The guide gave us a tour and great information when we were in the monastery, but then set us off on our own and just gave us a time by which to return.

Below are a few photographs through the greenery:

40 shades of green- Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

I used this photograph when making the “turn people into trees” post:

Ram daas tree quote

Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

waterfall in Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

40 shades of green Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland




Upper Lake

Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland


Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland

I love this tree! 

Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland




Upper lake is where a scene from the movie PS I love you was filmed. You can see a fraction of the moment in the trailer below at 1:20




After the nice walk to upper lake, we had to make it back to the van in time to depart.  We wandered past a few fields of sheep…


Sheep! Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland


…and one very interesting sign …

Dogs will be shot- they scare the sheep.  Glendalough- Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland


Yes, this sign was serious. Do not be that tourist that brings your obnoxious, yippy dog around the sheep- it’s their home.




That’s all there is to see of Glendalough.  It was a lovely trip and I’m glad I made the last-minute decision to go!


I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring with me.  If you’d like to visit some other places with me, why not click one of the links below?

Isle of Skye, Scotland- a magical island

the Isle of Skye has oodles of cliffs!


Partnachklamm- a breathtaking gorge in Germany

beautiful partnachtklam



  • If you’d like to know more about any particular area, please let me know below.  I’ve traveled a lot, and if I have been there, I will expedite a post for you!
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Glendalough- Irish Round Tower


Irish Round Tower


glendaloch cross + tower


Often called a gothic tower, this one was built in the 11th century and sits 30.5 meters (100 feet) tall.  It can be found in the early medieval monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in Glendalough.


Glendalough (pronounced “Glenn-dah-loch”), is part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park outside of Dublin, Ireland.

To see more of the monastic settlement and graveyard area, click here.


glendaloch tower

 Note the “window” near the bottom.

 This is actually the main -and only- door to the tower and is located about 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) from the base.


(the following story is roughly summarized from the tour company video below) :

As you may know, the Vikings had a lot of interest in the Celtic Isles and have raided this area a bit “back in the day.” Round towers were built as a place to hide from the Vikings, and the doorway was built to high up so that the Vikings could not get in.  You can learn more by watching this video by Viator:



~~ ~~ ~~ THIS IS FALSE ~~ ~~ ~~


There are a number of stories about the creation of the towers.  The one above, is actually told by a number of tour guides.  IT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE!  Aren’t the Vikings smart enough to figure out how to get in that doorway if they wanted to?  Or they could set the wooden door on fire and smoke out/kill everyone who was “hiding” in the tower.

Yes, the towers were often used as lookout or bell towers, but the doorway was built that high up -oh I don’t know- perhaps because the tower is freaking tall and built with little to no foundation!  If there were a door big hole in the bottom portion of the tower, it would be much less structurally secure.

Also, the towers were the libraries, the record-keeping rooms, and the keeper of all things important.  Having the door so high up meant that the tower would be much less likely to flood, and everything kept on the first floor (now 3.5m up) would be dry and happy.


glendaloch cross and tower 2. Ireland

 The tower is constructed of mica-slate and granite


glendaloch pretty cross and tower

Just look at the detail on that cross!  Beautiful!


Thank you for visiting and learning a little about the round tower and the monastery in Glendalough.



Love Ireland?  Click here to check out my post about St. Paddy’s Day (and learn why it’s “St. Paddy” and not “St. Patty”)



  •  Have you heard any other incorrect stories about the use of the round towers?  Or would you like to make one up? :)
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Glendalough- Monastery


means “the valley of two glens” in Irish (Gaelic).  From Gleann Dá Loch and pronounced as such (Glen da loch).


I’ve since added two other posts about this area:

Click here to read more about the Irish Round Tower.

Click here to see more of the natural beauty of the surrounding area and the lakes. 40 Shades of Green indeed!


glendaloch pretty cross


This post is dedicated to the monastery, ruins, and graveyard. Eventually, I’ll also get around to writing a post about the gothic tower inside the monastery as well.

glendaloch graveyard. County Wicklow, Ireland. National Park


I visited this lovely place on a half day trip from Dublin.  It is located in County Wicklow, Ireland (slightly southwest of Dublin). To get here, one would need a vehicle –or a guided tour– as public transportation does not come out this way.


I really enjoyed being able to take some time and get out of the city to see a bit of Ireland’s natural beauty. The entire trip did not take too long (I didn’t want to sit in a vehicle for hours that day…. I didn’t have the patience for it), and we traveled through a few different parts of one of Ireland’s National Parks. It’s something I recommend doing if you have the time!



glendaloch graveyard Ireland celtic cross


On this same trip, I was able to do a little walking around Glendalough, so there will be a post about the natural beauty and lakes of the valley (this area was used in filming various movies, including P.S. I Love You and Braveheart)… someday.


We were also able to visit the Guinness family estate (including a lake that looks like a proper Guinness pint and the bridge from the movie P.S. I Love You)


glendaloch entrance Ireland

Walking through the entrance to the monastery is like walking through a portal to another world.



glendaloch cross

Note the cross on the bottom right of this photo, etched on the large rock slab.  It is easily missed on many tours to this location and this cross shape has been traced back to here and is known as the Glendalough Cross.



Glendalough Glendaloch ruins. Wicklow National Park. Ireland.

Ruins within the monastic walls are still quite beautiful today.  This area would have been the pulpit.



glendaloch graveyard Ireland celtic


…. to be continued…. eventually :)



Though if you would like to see some other cool celtic places, why not check out The Isle of Skye if you haven’t already?



  • Am I the only one who loves all celtic things?
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6 ideas to bring Irish fun into the workplace for St Paddys day

In hono(u)r of St. Paddy’s day, I figured I would give some inspiration for spreading Irish cheer!

st-paddy-ideas- inspiration patrick irish

Are you “that person”? You know- the one who likes to bring in treats to the office, or spread some joy by leaving smiley-face post-its on your coworkers’ monitors or occasionally writing inspirational quotes on the coffee room white board? Or do you just like any reason to celebrate?   Well- rather than dressing up like a leprechaun and handing out lucky charms, here are some ideas to bring some Irish cheer into your workplace!



1. Ireland-inspired decorated cupcakes!

irish cupcakes

Who doesn’t love cupcakes in the office? I love decorating cupcakes (as you may already know)- but I don’t have the patience to make them perfect (nor do I use icky fondant- which is much prettier).

Use some of these design ideas to decorate your own!

- Shamrock

- Celtic knot-work  Or click here to learn how to draw your own.

- Irish flag – Irish phrases (see #2 below)

- Leprechaun hat

- Celtic cross

-Pot of gold

- pointillism icing painting of St. Patrick banishing all snakes from Ireland



2. Irish phrases

Learn some Irish sayings or phrases to say or write and leave around the office. I’ve listed some examples below; note that I call the language Irish. Yes, it’s Irish Gaelic, but every Irish person I know just calls the language “Irish.”

Sláinte- “health” in Irish. It is what to say when clinking glasses as a drink cheer.

Phonetically= Slancha

Éirinn go Brách- “Ireland forever” in Irish. Often seen as “Erin go bragh” which is the anglicised spelling.

Phonetically= Erin guh brawkh

Céad mile fáilte- “A hundred thousand welcomes” in Irish.

Phonetically= Kayd Meelah Fallchaa

Go raibh maith agat- “thank you” in Irish.

Phonetically= gu rav mah ugut.

Póg Mo thóin- “kiss my arse.” I don’t recommend you tell this to everyone at work…. but it’s an important phrase to know, just to be sure that an Irish person isn’t pulling your leg by telling you “Póg Mo thóin” is how to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” in Irish.  Phrasebooks could be wrong, you know.

Phonetically= poag mah hone.

What’s the craic? (pronounced “crack”)= “what’s up?” or “what’s going on?”


And a few other fun quotes and sayings:

  • May the luck of the Irish be with you!
  • “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” -Oscar Wilde
  • Here’s to women’s kisses, and to whiskey, amber clear. Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss, but a darn sight more sincere!
  • A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.
  • Better good manners than good looks.
  • “A life making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.
  • There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.



3. Limericks!

Writing a limerick is not too hard
Just get a pen and paper or maybe a card
Use your rhyming ear
And drink a pint of beer
And you too can write limericks like a bard

One year, I wrote a personalized limerick for everyone in my office.  To this day, I believe only two of them knew it was me.

A limerick is written with the following rhythm and rhyme (say it out loud):

Rhythm and rhythm and rhythm and A
Rhythm and rhythm and rhythm and A
Rhythm and B
Rhythm and B
Rhythm and rhythm and rhythm and A

Or for you musicians/dancers:

1+a 2+a 3+a 4(rhyme A)
1+a 2+a 3+a 4(rhyme A)
1+a 2(rhyme B)
3+a 4(rhyme B)
1+a 2+a 3+a 4(rhyme A)

The rhythm does not need be exact, but should fit in the rhythm relatively well.  (You should be able to fit the words with emphasis on the down beat comfortably).

The following limerick – which won an Irish ‘Listowel Writers Week’ prize in 1998 – exemplifies the structure:

Writing a Limerick’s absurd,
Line one and line five rhyme in word,
And just as you’ve reckoned
They rhyme with the second;
The fourth line must rhyme with the third.

Below are a few examples of ones I’ve written for co workers.

There once was a lass from New York
Whom, I doubt, would listen to Bjork
This next part is random
You can say it in tandem:
The sweedish chef says “bork bork bork!”


There once was a lass who did crafts and things
She treated all people as if they were kings
She liked apples that weren’t mealy
and learning Swahili
and the joy that each day brings”


– feel free to use “there once was a lass/lad….” as your first line:

“There once was a lad from HR

Who enjoyed spending time in a bar…”


“There once was a lad who liked bacon

A lot of ruckus he enjoyed makin’…”


– think first of what words you can rhyme easily.  I don’t recommend “there once was a lass from Ohio” or trying to rhyme the word “orange” for example.

-If their name is easy to rhyme, consider using “there once was a lad named ____” as your first line.

– when you can’t figure out what word to use that rhymes, go throughout the alphabet:

Trying to rhyme the word “small”?
And keep going until something makes sense in your limerick



4. Traditional food

Research some traditional Irish food to bring in to share!

Irish Soda Bread with honey butter is always a great idea. Sadly, as I am currently on the road- I cannot make Irish soda bread and share the recipe and photos with you.  I CAN however, link you to a few recipe suggestions (even a gluten-free and a vegan one).


Also, making honey butter is always more impressive than it should be (it’s just what it says guys- honey and butter).  Let a stick of butter sit on the countertop and soften.  Put the butter in a bowl, pour honey over the top and mix it (I use a knife, just because I don’t want to dirty more dishes).  Keep mixing until smooth and all the lumps are out.  Do a taste-test and be sure you like the sweetness.  If you want it more sweet, add more honey.  If you want it less sweet, add more butter.


Click here for St. Paddy’s day recipe ideas!

You could always do an Irish office potluck for lunch.  Food ideas include: potato-leek soup, Guinness stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, steak and Guinness pie, black pudding, pork pastie, Guinness cake, and whiskey cake.



5. Figure out everyone’s Leprechaun names and use them ALL DAY!

Because being a little ridiculous is always fun!




6. Contests!

Organize or host an office contest for St Patrick’s Day. Ideas include:

– Encourage everyone to dress up for the occasion and give an award for the most green or best Irish spirit.

– Hold a limerick contest (call it an Irish poerty slam?) and have everyone vote on the best one.

– Challenge everyone to some Irish trivia.

– There are a large number of famous Irish authors and playwrights. Pass out a sheet with the authors and a list of famous quotes. See if everyone can pair the quote with the proper author.

– See who can perform the most convincing jig. You might even have a coworker who actually knows some Irish dancing! Perhaps they will teach a dance to the group!

– Do an Irish singalong, or see if a group can perform an Irish drinking song “Whose Line is it Anyway?” style:

If you want to skip to my favorite part, go to 7:04.  It’s worth it.

If all else fails, you can just dress up a bit too much, bring your Irish whistle to play a few tunes, talk in and Irish accent most of the day, and keep asking folks if they’re heading to the pub after work…which may or may not be what I did last year ;)



Speaking of which, be sure you all go out to the pub afterwards for a pint, or some Jameson, neat.  And tune in- or subscribe, because the next post is dedicated to Guinness!!!


pass me a pint!



  • Do you have any Irish cheer ideas for your office/workplace? Think you might try one or more of these ideas? Share your stories with us!
  • Oh! Oh!   – and what is your leprechaun name??
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