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今年六月中左右，那時我才剛開始在餐廳工作一個多月，得知每年的假到七月底就會重新計算，所以我趕緊算了算已經累積的天數：５天，剛好可以請一個星期的假出去走走，也因為時間抓得太緊，所以準假的隔一個星期就是我的假期了，可以計畫的時間不多，我和先生決定去大自然走走，我馬上上網調查都柏林附近有沒有什麼好到達、又不會太冷的地方，也因為五月份才剛去過海邊，我和先生說我想去爬山，才打了幾個關鍵字，就發現原來都柏林的南部不遠處，竟然就有一個國家公園：威克洛山脈國家公園（Wicklow Mountains National Park），這個國家公園占地兩萬多公頃，而且多半是山景，其中最著名的自然風貌就是格倫達洛（Glendalough）冰河遺跡，而且這座國家公園的步道很多，從入門款到要有登山經驗的步道都有。發現這個理想地點後，查了交通方式，搭乘直達的私人遊覽車（the St. Kevin’s Bus ）才一個多小時，這距離堪稱都柏林的後花園啊～（我是台中人，這個概念就像是日月潭是台中的後花園一樣），事不遲疑，地點和交通方式都確認好了，我和先生就迅速地訂了住宿，因為我們自己不開車，所以行動都得依賴大眾交通，這次的住宿我們選擇住在離國家公園非常近的格倫達洛旅館（Glendalough Hotel ），雖然有點小貴，但是離遊客中心走路才五分鐘，夠近了吧！每天早上都要起床吃爆早餐來平衡一下哈哈哈。
Earlier this mid-June, I had only stared my job at the Ivy for about a month. I learned that at the end of July all holiday days would be renewed so I better took my accrued days off in time. I checked and booked my holiday as soon as I could. However by the time I got the approval of my holiday I had less than a week to plan the trip. My husband and I both wanted to be in the nature, somewhere not as cold as the coastline and is not that far from Dublin. Not too mention we were just back from our trip to the west of Ireland, so we weren’t so keen to visit the ocean again. I quickly did a search online and found out that Wicklow Mountains National Park is situated just south of Dublin. The Park covers 20,000 hectares of mountain scenery and has many walking trails. It is more than ideal to us so I immediately checked if the transportation is straightforward. It turned out it only takes an hour with a private bus service, the St. Kevin’s Bus, going from Dublin to the Park. Now we had the destination and the way to go there, we went on booking the place to stay. We eventually opted for the Glendalough Hotel which is really close to the Park since we don’t drive we didn’t want to stay somewhere too far. It takes only 5 minutes on foot to go from the Hotel to the visitor center, how close! Though it was a bit expensive I made up my mind I would compensate the cost by waking up early everyday and eat my free breakfast till my belly cries.
There is no entry fee to Wicklow Mountains National Park. Please note, however, that all car parks in the area have a charge.
There are nine way-marked walking trails in the valley of Glendalough. The walks vary from a short half hour stroll to a long four hour hill-walk. Thought there is a visitor center, we thought it was quite useless and it charges a fee to visit! We resorted to the large map displayed outside of the visitor center which has all the information you need. The walks are all color-coded, when you walk in the mountains you can see signs with color tags so it is really up to you, your mood and the weather of the day to decide which walks you want to go for.
Besides the well known Glendalogh glacial valley, this area also is renowned for an early medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century. What’s more, the head of the Glendalough valley was discovered to be rich in galena and thus became a mining site starting in the 19 century. Now the mines are out of practice but the traces of explosions and ruins from back then can still be seen at the valley.
這附近最出名的建築物就是這個圓塔了，高度３３公尺，這個高塔的歷史將近一千年，就是在這裡定居下來的修道士建造的。歷史記載圓塔在西元１８７６年被雷劈過 （好好的為什麼會被雷劈？我覺得很有事哈哈哈） ，所以塔頂有經過後天的修復。另外愛爾蘭當地的蓋爾語稱這座塔為 Cloigtheach，就是鐘塔的意思。這座塔過去也會被修道士拿來登高避難用，畢竟中古世紀時期治安不好，偶爾會有人打劫修道院，除了兼具瞭望台功能以外，這座圓塔也好比一個海上的燈塔，提供從他處朝聖而來的修道士或信眾一個尋路的方向。
The most famous of all the landmarks in Glendalough is the Round Tower which stands 33 meters above the ground. It was built almost 1000 years ago by the monks of St. Kevin’s monastery. The conical roof had to be replaced in 1876 when it was struck by lightning. I wonder why it was struck lol. The towers were called “Cloigtheach”, meaning bell tower. The towers were sometimes used as a place of refuge for monks when the monastery was under attack. They also served as both as lookout posts and as beacons for approaching monks and pilgrims.
I don’t understand why European cemeteries are never scary to me while Taiwanese ones always are a bit spooky. Look at these tiled tombs they look quite aesthetic.
I think perhaps it has something to do with all the scary movies I watched and all the stories I heard about cemeteries when I was a kid. Not only that, in Taiwan, we put pictures of the deceased on their tombs and that just emphasizes the fact that someone’s actually buried down there.
This time we planned to stay four days here. When we arrived at the hotel the first day it was already 1 in the afternoon, we took a look at the map without much ambition therefore we decided to just walk to the Upper Lake today. Let’s not stress ourselves just yet.
待會會和大家介紹這座國家公園裡面的九大步道，不過在這裡先告訴大家，從遊客中心，經由下湖（Lower Lake）的南側走到上湖，再從北側走回遊客中心，這個繞一圈的路線就是綠線，綠線真的頗綠，整條路都是豐富植披和樹木，走起來很悠閒，這個時間點算是夏日吧，看著眼前翠綠豐盈的景色，讓人不禁想起北宋大畫家郭熙《山川訓》裡面的一小段 ：
I will introduce you the 9 trails of the Park at the end of this article, but for now I’m letting you know that starting from the visitor center, going about the north side of the Lower Lake, reaching the Upper Lake and circling back from the south side of the Lower Lake constitutes the Green Route. It is a really GREEN trail, full of plantation and trees, very pleasant. We visited the Park at the beginning of Summer and the abundance of green embedded along the sides of the trail really reminded me of a passage from On Mountains and Rivers , by an artist and poet, Xi Guo, from the Song dynasty.
I honestly don’t know why I challenged myself to translate such excerpt of a classic literature.
Spring mountains are calm and tranquil,
just like a gentle smile.
Summer mountains are green and verdant,
plumped to the fullest.
Autumn mountains are bright and clear,
like a beauty wearing her best makeup.
Winter mountains are grievous and wretched,
they sleep and lay in wait.Excerpt from On Mountains and River by Xi Guo
Walking from visitor center to the Upper Lake takes about 30 minutes, you can see lost of families going there. The Park seems to be quite popular.
As approaching the Upper Lake, you can see this silly tree from a distance.
It is a must to take a picture with the silly tree.
Lots of people were treading at the edge of the water but visitors are not allowed to go into the lake.
The lake is classified as a ribbon lake. A ribbon lake is a long and narrow, finger-shaped lake, usually found in a glacial trough. The Upper and the Lower lake were at first united but one of their inflow brought an amount of sediment large enough to divide the original lake in two parts. The Lower Lake actually is way smaller and it looks more like a vast wetland.
The weather today was a bit gloomy. Since our aim of this trip was to be super laid back, our day one ended at this cute little lake view.
Before we headed for the National Park, I went to an Asian supermarket and grabbed a few tasty instant noodles. That was our dinner for two nights. Later today we also walked half an hour to a nearest convenient store to buy some snacks, bottles of water and I also got a big bag of tangerines. Our meal strategy this time was to eat like a king at breakfast, have snacks while hiking, go grab a hamburger or hot-dog at the food stall in the afternoon and enjoy our instant noodles at night. It worked very well and was pretty economical. It was actually a cute memory for both of us to eat instant noodles and watch local TV in our hotel room at night.
This evening we also studied a bit of the trials this Park has to offer. Now I’d give you guys a introduction of them all.
Remember this map we saw earlier today? You can see all the routes are color coded and underneath the map is the introduction of the 9 trails. I’m just giving you the translation of the official information. If you see a picture attached to the introduction that means we did walk that trail. More pictures of certain trails will also be in the part 2 of this series.
等級：初階 距離：５公里 時間：１小時１０分鐘 最高坡度：２０公尺
這條路線緊捱著上湖的北側，在抵達礦工村落之前，會先穿過一段鬱鬱蔥蔥的針葉林，紫線的中間，有處可以眺望上湖對岸的地標，在這裡你可以清楚看到對山的 「聖凱文的床」（St. Kevin’s Bed） 。* 聖凱文是愛爾蘭第二級的聖人 ， 「聖凱文的床」是個青銅器時代遺留下來的墓穴 ，他被祝聖為司鐸後，接受任命，在這個洞穴過著如隱士般的生活。這條路線常出現野山羊的蹤跡，偶爾也可以看見遊隼在這帶的天際翱翔， 帶著尖銳的叫聲呼喚同伴。
Miners’ Road Walk (Purple Route)
Grade: Easy Distance: 5km Time: 1hr 10 mins Climb: 20m
This walk skirts one side of the Upper Lake. The trail passes through Scots pine woodland before reaching the ruined Miners’ Village. Halfway along the trail, the cave known as St. Kevin’s Bed can be seen across the lake. Feral goats are common on this walk. Peregrine Falcons may on occasion be seen high in the sky soaring and calling to each other with a high-pitched cry.
等級：中階 距離：１公里 時間：３０分鐘 最高坡度：８５公尺
該路線沿著波拉納斯瀑布不斷向上攀升，帶著你穿過格倫達洛的橡樹林。後半段的路線是輕鬆宜人的緩坡，連結至聖凱文的小屋，抵達一個可以俯瞰上湖的絕佳位置，非常適合賞鳥。在結束棕線以前，非常建議順道拜訪附近的里福特教堂（ Reefert Church ）。
Poulanass and St. Kevin’s Cell (Bronze Route)
Grade: Moderate Distance: 1km Time: 30 mins Climb: 85m
This trail rises steeply alongside the Poulanass Waterfall, leading you through the Glendalough oak woodlands. It then winds gently down to the site of St. Kevin’s Cell. At this point there is a scenic viewpoint overlooking the Upper Lake, which is a good place to birdwatch. A visit to Reefert Church is worthwhile before ending your walk.
等級：初階 距離：３公里 時間：５０分鐘 最高坡度：２０公尺
Green Road Walk (Green Route)
Grade: Easy Distance: 3km Time: 50 mins Climb: 20m
The Green Road is an easy stroll on mostly flat ground. This walk passes through the Glendalough oak woodlands before dropping down onto the Lower Lake wetland edge. Views up the valley from the boardwalk here are spectacular. Lizards and dragonflies are often seen sunning themselves on the wooden trackway. The wetlands are a valuable breeding place for frogs.
等級：顛簸 距離：８公里 時間：２小時 最高坡度：１６０公尺
這條路線沿著波拉納斯瀑布，直上白杉山頂一帶。路線的兩側是綿延的落葉松和松樹，優越的地理位置更可以讓你鳥瞰整個河谷。四處可見歐亞紅松鼠以及各種鳥類穿梭在樹林之間，夏日之初，遍佈在地面的酢漿草、風鈴草、銀蓮花等植物，更為地貌添增豐富的色彩。* Derrybawn 在愛爾蘭當地的語言有白色樹木的意思，所以這裡我就不音譯，直接編譯為白杉。
Derrybawn Woodland Trail (Orange Route)
Grade: Ramble Distance: 8km Time: 2 hrs Climb: 160m
This trail climbs steeply up alongside the Poulanass Waterfall before leading you to the upper reaches of Derrybawn Mountain. Flanked by larch and pine trees, the route offers magnificent views of the whole Glendalough Valley. Red squirrels and birds such as treecreepers are often seen here. In early summer, wood sorrel, bluebells and wood anemones add colour to the woodland floor.
等級：中階 距離：１．６公里 時間：４０分鐘 最高坡度：１００公尺
該路線的前半段緊貼著波拉納斯瀑布和瀑布池， 是段不長卻十分陡峭的路程。* 波拉納斯（Poulanass）這個名字源自愛爾蘭當地語言 Poll an Eas ，有瀑布之洞的意思。這條路線橫跨瀑布最上游，經過林地，開始下降至河谷地區。在攀爬此路線時，不妨仔細聆聽樹林間的鳥叫聲，尤其是藍樫鳥響亮的鳴叫。
Poulanass (Pink Route)
Grade: Moderate Distance: 1.6km Time: 40 mins Climb: 100m
This trail begins with a short but steep climb up by the Poulanass Waterfall and plunge pools. (The name Poulanass is taken from the Irish ‘Poll an Eas’ which means ‘hole of the waterfall’). The trail crosses above the waterfall to drop down through mixed woodlands to the valley floor. Listen out for woodland birds, in particular jays, which can be quite noisy.
等級：顛簸 距離：４公里 時間：１小時１５分鐘 最高坡度：９０公尺
這段宜人的路線，將引領你一窺格倫達洛的秘密瑰寶。蜿蜒的路線穿過風貌繁多的樹林區域，進入鄰近的格倫達山河谷區（ Glendasan Valley ），沿著格倫達山河一路回溯至格倫達洛，最後接上貫穿下湖濕地區域的木棧道。
Woodland Road (Silver Route)
Grade: Ramble Distance: 4km Time: 1 hrs 15 mins Climb: 90m
This is a pleasant walk through one of the more secretive areas of Glendalough. It weaves through mixed woodlands into neighbouring Glendasan Valley. The trail follows the Glendasan River back towards Glendalough, where it then joins up with the boardwalk which runs through the Lower Lake wetlands.
等級：山路 距離：９公里 時間：３小時 最高坡度：３８０公尺
這段遠負盛名的路線，將帶你一覽威克洛一帶最令人驚豔的景色（ Spinc 意指尖山），該路線首先沿著坡度陡增的波拉納斯瀑布， 接至高地的木棧道，將近６００階的木棧，引領你至可以收盡上湖風光的地理位置，木棧道更延伸至山線懸崖的最頂端，路線後段是一大片沼澤荒地，接續格倫尼洛冰河谷的優美地貌，這裡也是一群野生紅鹿的棲息地，最後一段顛簸的小道帶你回到格倫達洛的河谷地帶。
Spinc and Glenealo Valley (White Route)
Grade: Hillwalk Distance: 9km Time: 3 hrs 15 mins Climb: 380m
This popular walk leads you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Co. Wicklow. (The name Spinc comes from the Irish ‘An Spinc’ and means ‘pointed hill’). The trail ascends steeply up by the Poulanass Waterfall before joining a boardwalk. More than 600 wooden steps lead you to a viewing point overlooking the Upper Lake. The boardwalk skirts the top of the cliffs before descending through blanket bog and heath into the picturesque Glenealo Valley, home to a large herd of deer. A rough track then leads you back down into Glendalough Valley.
等級：山路 距離：１１公里 時間：４小時 最高坡度：４９０公尺
這條路線最開始和其他往尖山方向的路線一樣，一路綿延至木棧道，沿著木棧道走１．７公里後，會轉而朝黑窟窿山脈（ Lugduff Mountain ）前進。*Lugduff 在愛爾蘭當地語言有黑色空洞、窟窿的意思。 這段路線很適合觀察野生紅鹿和多種鳥類（渡鴉、 灰背隼、 紅隼等等）。此路線最後和威克洛步道重疊一小段，一路繞回國家公園服務中心。
Spinc and the Wicklow Way (Red Route)
Grade: Hillwalk Distance: 11km Time: 4 hrs Climb: 490m
This walk follows the same route as the other Spinc trails up onto the boardwalk. It stays on this boardwalk for 1.7km before turning off in the direction of Lugduff Mountain. This Section of the trail is a good place to spot deer and birds such as Raven, Merlin and Kestrel. Finally the trail links up with the Wicklow Way track to lead you back to the Information Office.
等級：山路 距離：５公里 時間：２小時 最高坡度：３００公尺
Spinc (short route) (Blue Route)
Grade: Hillwalk Distance: 5km Time: 2 hrs Climb: 300m
Although this walk is short in comparison to the other Spinc routes, it still leads you into mountainous terrain where navigational experience is necessary. The walk follows the Poulanass Waterfall before entering the Lugduff Valley. From there, a steep climb up steps brings you onto the boardwalk which hugs the cliff of the Spinc, before cutting down through forest to lead back towards the Information Office.
I can’t believe I just translated all these information, I thought I was doing translation full-time again. Perhaps Tourism Ireland should pay me some peanuts.
Before we studied the trails we already walked the Green Route by accident when going to the Upper Lake. It was really a easy, pleasant walk.
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我創作的貼圖 – My LINE Stickers
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討人厭的喬（The Annoying Joe）
鮑伯和蔓蒂（Bob & Mandy）