Ireland is as lush and green and magical as you might imagine it is. I’ve been fortunate enough to be there a handful of times, most recently earlier this year. On my last visit I took a bus tour through the Wicklow Mountains. A truly magical place. For me they were very reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands (the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.)
It is full of the type of vistas that you see in famous old paintings. The entire experience of being there is very surreal.
The highlight of the tour for me, the main reason I booked it if I’m honest, was a trip to the monastic city of Glendalough and it’s stunning, old (like super old) cemetery. The city itself dates back to 6th century…yes, 6th, I didn’t miss a digit. During its long history it was even attacked by Vikings, but survived. Many of the buildings still standing there today are themselves from the 10th – 12th centuries. Probably it’s most famous landmark is a round tower that monks would sometimes hide out in during attacks. This tower stands over a hundred feet, and much of it is original with the exception of the roof which had to be replaced in the late 19th century after it was struck by lightning.
Glendalough (the lough pronouced lock) means the valley of two lakes. A short walk down a path that leaves direct from the graveyard gives you breathtaking views of the lakes, and maybe even a ghost (more on that later). Our tour guide says that these lakes are some of the most photographed places in all of Ireland and it's not hard to see why.
The cemetery is said to be haunted by a woman in red who was whipped by the founding saint (Saint Kevin, but not until later) with nettles and pushed into the lake. I couldn’t find many other details than that, except that she is said to sometimes appear in photos of the lake (I didn’t see her in mine). I would expect she’d be quite an angry spirit if she was whipped with nettles, then drowned…I certainly would be.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any other creepy stories to go with these photos, but c’mon, it’s a misty, moody, drop-dead (see what I did there) cemetery in the Irish mountains, your imagination can do the rest.
This piece is by CGT Society Member Mindy, find her on instagram @mindytakespictures