We began the day by passing through the spectacular Dublin and Wicklow mountains to Glendalough. Glendalough is where a settlement was established by St. Kevin in the 6th century. This highly atmospheric monastic site was once a major learning center in Europe until it was destroyed in 1398 by British troops. St. Kevin rejected his life of privilege and went on to create this settlement that became a center of learning devoted to the care of the sick and the copying and illumination of manuscripts. The churches, buildings, and decorated Celtic crosses that have survived are a glimpse into the past, particularly the medieval Round Tower, one of the finest of its kind in the country.
After touring Glendalough, we found ourselves traveling through the Vale of Avoca. In the hamlet of Avoca we visited the oldest hand-weaving mill in Ireland and met the craftspeople who weave the colorful tweeds and scarves for which Ireland is famous. I think most of us left with at least one bag full of treasures. For me it was the scarves.
We ended our last day in Ireland with a celebratory Irish dinner at The Blarney Inn. We found ourselves reminiscing about our trip, discussing our travel schedule heading home, and talked about ways to stay connected after returning to our busy lives. Thank you Alumni Relations for the opportunity to meet new friends and tour a country with scenery and friendliness second to none.