Hey everyone! With just a few days left for the group in Ireland, we are making the most of our time. Just today we went on our second day trip. This time, we traveled to Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains. Both were such beautiful experiences. Kilkenny is a small town with an older population. It was quiet with several small boutiques and cafes. Site seeing in the town included visiting a castle, a cathedral, and scaling a tower for a view of the city.
After this trip, we went to the Wicklow Mountains. Here, we happened upon a scene of nature that reminded me of something out a movie… Perhaps because P.S. I Love You was filmed in the area. It was interesting to see such a rural and beautiful area. The Wicklow Mountains are home to many farmers. Sheep can be seen grazing across the mountain. Restaurants in the surrounding area were scarce – we only saw one hotel. For food, we stopped at a small truck situated in a parking lot near the mountains.
Maybe people are attracted to this site because of the movies, or just the sheer beauty. Either way, the tourism industry in Ireland is strong. On our trip, we saw several other tour buses going along the same route. Boutiques, restaurants, gift shops, and tourism destinations (like the Cathedral in Kilkenny or the sheep herding business in the mountains). The sites where we toured are places that would exist without but are more profitable because of tourism. Also, tourists are able to see the pride of the workers at these sites – they are eager to show off their country.
The Wicklow Mountains itself pose a very interesting economic prospect. They are essential to farmers, but larger businesses centered in Dublin need it too. For example, Guinness sources its water from this area. The company owns a good portion of the land in order to secure this water source. Also, the city of Dublin prospers from the Wicklow Mountains, despite being over an hour drive away. Our tour guide mentioned that there is a turbine located in the mountains which generates electricity for Dublin. The city relies on the spring water as well for their taps. “If you brushed your teeth this morning in Dublin, you used water from the Wicklow Mountains.” Overall, I learned a lot of unique facts from this day tour and it was one of my favorite parts of the trip as a whole.