Did you know there are many tours that you could take while traveling in another country? You would think there would only be a few tour companies for each city and country you visit and not as many as I found for Dublin alone.
I found there are tours offered specifically for tourist attractions i.e. The Old Jameson Distillery and there are tours where you can see Dublin by land and water. There are tours for the surrounding areas if you want to venture away from the city and see more of Ireland.
What do you think I decided to do? I decided to be adventurous if you can call it that and venture away from the city for the day. After surfing the net, I finally went with PaddyWagon Tours and booked a day tour from Dublin. It doesn’t stop there……. You can find a tour company you like and want to go with but many companies offer more than one type of tour.
PaddyWagon offers two day tours, three or four day tours, five or six day tours, nine or ten day tours. They also offer what I would call event tours if you happen to be in Ireland during St. Patrick’s Day, Easter or Halloween than they have tours geared for that. I went through all the one day tours the company offered from Dublin since I was staying at Jacobs Inn and wanted to 1) find a tour that left from near the area where I was staying and 2) offered a day tour at a reasonable price since I was paying for my niece and I to take the tour. I found that and more with them.
I read all the descriptions, times, prices for each tour and finally went with the Kilkenny and Wicklow day tour. I know I made the right choice when all I heard from my nieces was how much they loved the scenery and everything we got to see in the one day we went. No matter which tour you choose, I have no doubt you will get everything you want out of the day (s) and that it will be money well spent.
One thing you will need to confirm is the time that the tour departs. This particular tour has three different locations where they will pick you up. I chose Paddy’s Palace since it was literally around the corner or so it seemed from where I was staying. The tour departed at 9:00 am but I thought it departed sooner than that so we had to wait an hour before we could board the bus. No problem…… The people at reception were very nice and said we could get a cup of coffee from the kitchen. Oh, did I mention that PaddyWagon Tours has a hostel in Dublin among other counties in Ireland. Dublin happens to be one of the places where they have a hostel.
Once aboard the bus, we left Dublin winding our way through the city until we arrived in Glendalough. Do you know the translation for Glendalough? It means ‘Glen of Two Lakes.’ That is what our tour bus driver and guide, Don told us. By the way, I highly recommend taking a tour with Don. He is one of the best guides around.
Upon arriving in Glendalough, we walked up some steps that took us to a cemetery that we walked through before we walked down to the lakes. The cemetery was in ruins but that didn’t take away from all the history that could be found here. Leaving the ruins, you start along the path to the lakes.
Back to the lakes….. Yes, there are actually two lakes and that is why it is called Glendalough or Glen of Two Lakes. Don recommended passing the first lake and heading onto the second lake. Now I knew why because the first lake was secluded but not anyway to really get close to the lake to see it up close. It was breathtaking but nothing compared to when we made it to the second lake. It took my breath away…….. You could walk right up to the lake and put your hands down into the water and feel how cold and refreshing the water was the touch. But it wasn’t only the lake that was a beauty to behold. It was the entire walk leading up to the lakes. If you decide to make your way to Glendalough, you will need to remember there are two paths that will lead you to where you want to go. The path to the left is the one that many people seemed to take and the one to the right is the one that was less crowded. That was the one we took or you might see the path less traveled. Even though I kept thinking we would be rushed for time, I am glad we took this path because it gave us a different perspective of the surrounding areas than we would have taken if we traveled a different path. Wouldn’t you know it; we saw deer along this trail.
After leaving Glendalough, we traveled through the Wicklow Mountains and made a stop along the way to take some photos where ‘P.S. I Love You’ was filmed. It is one of my absolute favorite films and not because it has Gerard Butler in it. It was a true love story with scenery that showcased a part of Ireland I have come to treasure from my trip there.
You didn’t think the tour ended with the Wicklow Mountains? There was more to see. Don stopped at the Browneshill Dolmen long enough for us to take the short walk to the tomb. The tomb is known as an ancient burial chamber and the dolmen that we got to see is considered a monument. We got to see the Dolmen long enough to take a few photos before we got back on the bus and drove to Kilkenny City where we stayed for a couple of hours. We had long enough in the city to have lunch at the Nostalgia Cafe. I ordered the bacon and cabbage which is what we would consider the corned beef and cabbage from the United States. It turns out that bacon and cabbage is one of the traditional dishes of Ireland whereas corned beef and cabbage is a dish that was derived from that meal. The dish included mashed carrots which I have never had before but they are way better than steamed carrots and mashed potatoes. The meal was delicious and it veered away from what I would usually order since I wanted to try something different while I was in Ireland. I recommend stopping by Nostalgia Cafe for a bite to eat i you ever make it to Kilkenny. You won’t regret it.
We had time after lunch to walk around the city so we decided to check out the Kilkenny design shop and check out a few of the shops along the main street. Very cute city that I wish I had more time in so I could explore more of it. Hmm, sounds like I might have to make another trip to Ireland.
Then it was time to leave Kilkenny and travel back to Dublin. All in all, it was a great day out of the city where it started raining when we left but soon became sunny and full of the freshest air you will ever breathe. Make a trip out to Ireland and see why it is one of the most beautiful countries around. That might be the biased part of me that has always loved Ireland and can’t wait to go back again and take another PaddyWagon Tour.
Check out the site for PaddyWagon Tours and you will see why I chose them for the Kilkenny & Wicklow Day Tour.
What tours have you taken? What countries did you see on your tour? How many days did you take with the tour company you chose? How did you decide on the company? How did you decide on how many days you wanted to take to see the city and country while you were there? I would love to hear your answers.
Disclaimer – I was not compensated by PaddyWagon Tours for this review. This is solely my own opinion/experience using this company to travel through Kilkenny and Wicklow while staying in Dublin.