Olaf & Angela
travelling from 02.09.1992 until 11.10.1992.
Ireland is, as is maybe known meanwhile, a wonderful green
island with incredibly friendly inhabitants. We made our first
experiences with this country in the summer of 1992 when
we cycled through Ireland for one month. At first our journey
lead us from Dublin south to the Wicklow mountains, then
turning across the country to Galway at the western coast,
up to the north, even crossing a little region of Northern
Ireland, and then back to Dublin.
Arriving in Dublin
with your bike is not easy. A large circle traffic is the
start of the roads from the airport into the city.
On the large road cycling is of course not allowed and
you would not want to do this anyway. So we leave out Dublin
at first and travel directly southward to the Wicklow
mountains. These wonderful mountains, in which Angela
conquered the first pass in her life (because of the
well-meant advice of an Irish woman that we asked for
the most beautiful way) have a wonderful heathland
in which sheep obviously feel great. And soon we
notice another characteristic of Ireland: The
ever changing weather provides suprises in every
hour, everything between sunshine and cloudburst
is possible anytime. Besides some real wet trips
this showed us lots of rainbows on the island.
In the center
of the Wicklow mountains Glendalough is located, the
ruins of a mediaeval cloister. The structure is made
up of a few houses and ruins that were build in the
7th century. It's a wonderfull location in a
valley (= Glen), near a large, quiet lake (= Lough).
In my opinion Glendalough is one of the most beautiful
sites on earth. But you really have to be there
before (or after) the big run of coaches that
spit out all too many tourists especially during
A large, cylindric tower still exists which was the
place of refuge in the time of the vikings.
Very interesting are the reconstructed houses with very
thick walls carrying a heavy roof made all from
stone. This provides insight in the limited
technical abilities that were not sufficient to
copy or even further develop the earlier achievements
of the roman architecture.
From Glendalough our path leads us into the interior of
the country. A landscape of green grass is our
companion, nice little towns are the home of
friendly inhabitants, not least because not too many
horrible tourists get there. Our journey leads us
to Tullow, where for the first time we are very impressed
by the hospitality of the Irish: On our ride Angelas
bike starts to groan under the load of the luggage
and after a short time the first spoke breaks.
Well, we did not have any substitute so we try to get
on to the next town. But "Pling" goes the second spoke.
So there is no way to cycle on, we have to push the
bike for the next three kilometres until we reach
Tullow. We make our way to the local bike shop which
is more or less the garage of a detached house.
Its saturday, 6pm, so we are very curious how this
will go on this weekend. The door is opened by a very
friendly woman who tells us that her husband is just
attending a game of football so he could inspect the
bike not before tomorrow (which is sunday!). She
asks us where we are going to stay tonight. We
do not know until now so she invites us to put up
our tent on their lawn, then we could have some
breakfast together before her husband fixes the bike.
We are flabbergasted by the overwhelming hospitality.
The good guy fixes the bike on the next morning and
refuses to take money for it and after a warm
goodbye we cycle on with a feeling of luck and
happiness through "our" Ireland.
trip awaits us: Not the steady up and down of the
Irish landscape but the rain that accompanies us
for the most part of the 60 kilometres to Kilkenny
gives us a hard time. Just before Carlow there waits
one of the oldest sights of Ireland to be inspected:
The Browns Hill Dolmen with a covering slab of more
than 100 tons. A new rain shower ends our stay there
and it goes on into town. Actually we wanted to stay
in Carlow for the night, but on arrival we decide that
this grey town is not very inviting (this impression
maybe depended on the gray rain). So we cycle a few
more kilometres until we reach Kilkenny and we get
a good reward for our staying power: Kilkenny is
a really beautiful town.
Not only is Kilkenny
the home of the tasty Kilkenny beer, it is in many ways
a typical Irish town: On the one hand there exist a huge
church that seems to be more than big enough for this
little town. But this seems to be quite normal in the
catholic Ireland. Inspite her size the church is worth
visiting and the lookout from the tower is wonderful.
The roof beams of wood are impressive and in their
plain manner they provide a strong contrast to the
splendid interior. On the other hand Kilkenny shows
good examples of the casual way of dealing with their
past: When we were looking for the ruins of an abbey
that we found on our city map we managed to find it
only after a few attempts. We just did not look to the
right direction because the abbey stands in the center
of the ground of the Kilkenny brewery. It's a strange
sight seeing this abbey in the middle of hundreds of
barrels being loaded onto trucks.
Irland per Rad. Ein Fahrrad-Reiseführer. Wolfgang Kettler.
Verlag Wolfgang Kettler, Neuenhagen, 1991.
Encouraging, praising & criticizing eMails are highly appreciated.