Presidential Tour

Our arrival into Dublin was followed by the American president’s touchdown into Ireland. Barack Obama had flown to Ireland to attend the G8 summit, accompanied by his family who intended to do some touring. The Obama’s schedule had one or two similarities with the Quigg’s schedule, except the father of this family of four did not have world affairs to attend to. The first item on both agendas, however, was a visit to Glendalough.

The round tower.

The round tower.

Based in a bed and breakfast in Wicklow, we drove to the medieval settlement called Gelndalough. Our visit wasn’t quite as glamorous as the Obama’s visit. The park facilities closed off the site to the public so as the Obamas could tour in privacy. Insects, however are not so discerning.

Seamus exploring Glendalough.

Seamus exploring Glendalough.

Reports in local papers described the Obamas irritation with the midges swarming the area and welts on my neck and hands can confirm that the midges also bothered us.

An old grave in Glendalough.

An old grave in Glendalough.

On the other hand, we had no problem with “midgets” which concerned some perplexed CIA staff. We fended off the midges as best we could as we strolled through the site. There were many medieval sites to be seen such as St. Kevin’s Church and the Round Tower.

A ruined building in Glendalough.

A ruined building in Glendalough.

The Round Tower is a thirty meter high structure that looks as if it could have once been the home of the fairytale character, Rapunzel. In reality, it was used as protection for people and treasure during attacks.

Meadhbh standing by one of the old headstones in Glendalough.

Meadhbh standing by one of the old headstones in Glendalough.

After taking in the ruins we walked around the remainder of the park which holds many lovely walking trails running through the forested area surrounding the lakes.

The Glendalough cemetery.

The Glendalough cemetery.

Once the midges finally got the best of us we returned to the car and drove to the former house of   Charles Stewart Parnell.

Meadhbh and Wanda outside the house of Parnell.

Meadhbh and Wanda outside the house of Parnell.

Wanda walking away from the house.

Wanda walking away from the house.

We toured through the house of the Irish politicians and even stood in the room where he was born.

The Parnell family tree.

The Parnell family tree.

Afterwards, we returned to Wicklow in search for a spot of grub. We eventually settled at a very nice Indian food restaurant just as the Obamas chowed down on traditional fish and chips in the company of Bono.

– Siobhan