Inktober Day 11 – Snow

Snow in Ireland, haha, that is a funny one. They really don’t get too much snow out here unless it’s high up in the mountains. When I first started dating my wife, the entire country shut down for a few inches of snow, for like a month. For me this was great fun. After living here for a few years though I get it. Most people live up in the hills, where they might have 7 inches, as opposed to the half inch down in the valley. Plus, they don’t have that much snow removal equipment.

That being said, the week my buddy Alex Lang came out to visit(photos are his) we got hit with two snowstorms. I took him out to Glendalough to do the 13 kilometer loop, which is an gorgeous loop hike out of the valley, and then back down the center. We took the 600 steps, which if you look you can see in the drawing, up through a very dark pine forest. About half way up it went from dark to blindingly white. The trees were bent over from the snow. By time we got to the top, it was a foot and half of snow if not more. There is a foot wide boardwalk running along the cliffs for safety, and you could not even see it. I stepped off at one point and sunk straight down. On a side note, we met a crazy guy running in shorts through the snow. We cheered him on and continued on our merry way. An hour or so later, he came running past us again. WTF???? After a small chat with him, he told us this was his third loop. Craziness. That’s 39 km’s, though deep snow, ankle breaking rocks, and fairies!!! Watch out for the deer too!

Glendalough is a very famous valley in the Wicklow mountains, with an ancient monastery there. This monetary was founded in the 6th century, by St. Kevin. St. Kevin stayed in the valley to meditate and do other crazy things while he talked to god. It’s said he would roll in the nettles naked when ever he was bad. Not something I would ever recommend doing as nettles sting for hours. This became a very famous monastery, and even had the famous book the Book of Glendalough written and illustrated there. This would be similar to the book of Kells. Right now there is still the round tower, where the monks would go to hide from raiding bands of Vikings, marauders, or even English. The tower had a door 15 feet above the ground, which during raids they would pull up in the tower. They would store all their valuables there, which being monks, mainly was books and such. This really is an amazing place to come to, and is so very deeply in tune with the history or Ireland for the last 1700 years.

Photos from Alex Langs Facebook Page and his camera.

To check out more of my art and portfolio go to MichaelBencik.com

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