I have that popular song from the Sound of Music stuck in my head…I also strained every tendon, pulled every muscle, and overextended every joint on my way UP the mountain! This weekend, I climbed my very first mountain. As my Austrian friend would say, in Ireland the land formations are less ‘mountains’, and more ‘large hills’, but it doesn’t sound quite as awesome to tell people I climbed my first large hill this weekend. So we’re sticking with mountain.
If you like to hike or enjoy the outdoors at all (and you happen to be in Ireland), do yourself a favor and head to Killarney National Park to climb Mount Mangerton! Killarney National Park in general is completely gorgeous, full of waterfalls and the neon green wooded landscape that Ireland is famous for. Mt. Mangerton is about a four-five hour hike up and down the mountain, but was still fairly challenging for the average person!
We began at the end of the mountain with blue skies, sunshine, and all-around gorgeous weather. The ground was squishy and boggy (from the melting snow running down the mountain). And you can BET I made sure to get some mud on my hiking boots so that no one could doubt I wasn’t an expert hiker- they were looking a little too clean…So naturally since it’s Ireland, there was no possible way that weather could last! We made it up to the summit with the sun staying through, and stopped for lunch at the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a gorgeous lake in a dip between the hills surrounding it on both sides.
After a lunch of sausage rolls (Weird, right? I made a snap decision at the store and panicked), we headed up the rocky path towards the summit. As we walked up, fog started rolling in, and THICK- soon we couldn’t see anything but the path around us. Next up: my first snowfall in Ireland, as massive snowflakes began hurling themselves on us in full force and the wind tended to pick up around that time as well! It was completely insane- prickly cold stung our cheeks, and our hiking boots were covered in chunky clumps of snow melting their way into our wool socks. We took the obligatory picture up top, then started the slippery-slidey descent.
And back about halfway down the mountain, the sun came out, the snow and rain ceased, and we headed down to gorgeous views of the tiny white Killarney buildings and the lakes and mountains all around. Also we walked directly underneath a rainbow and I found NO GOLD. What a joke!
It was a fantastic hike, I'd recommend it to anyone looking for some beautiful views and fresh airs in Killarney!
Headed to Paris tonight to eat macaroons and look at art, so look for more about that next Tuesday!