Although only 50 kilometres separate Dublin from this valley, when you get off the bus, you have the striking feeling of being far away from any form of civilisation.
Wherever your gaze falls, you see green, green, and green again. There is a small village with weathered buildings nestled in the crevice of this glen. You will reach the windswept ruins, in severe cold and under a pale sun, via a small wooden bridge. A weary, round tower indicates that successive invasions have spared the local monastery. Take the grassy road that meanders towards the monastery, or head to the village cemetery. There, you will see a sparse forest dotted with tombstones and Celtic crosses. Look up and you can see the silhouettes of hikers venturing into Upper Lake and Lower Lake. Forgotten there as reflective discs of an unknown civilisation, the lakes are dark blue, icy and mesmerising.
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