Glendalough and The daughters unmentionables
We approached Glendalough from the west using an old military road. From the top of the ridge the road drops rapidly to the village of Glendalough below. A rushing stream cascades down to the first of two lakes. They are apparently connected and we were warned to stay clear of that area. We were told that a person could be swept under and drown and it had happened several times.
At the top of the before it descended to Glendalough was a small B&B and scone shop. Mary and Joe were elderly and had come from England to live out their lives. We chatted with them for awhile before continuing to Glendalough. We thought we should see what other B&Bs were available and not take the first B&B we came across. In Glendalough we found no rooms available. We saw a sign pointing up the other side of Glendalough indicating a B&B was up that way. It was a narrow road that had deteriorated more and more the further we went. We kept seeing a sign urging us up an up. The road got worse and I was going slowly to make sure I didn't bottom out. Suddenly there was a little red car behind us right on our tail and obviously trying to get by. Finally I found a small spot where the other car could get by. Within minutes we were at the B&B and there was the red car. A man approached our car and I asked if there were any rooms. He said sorry but the people in the red car just rented his last room.
We backtracked to Mary and Joe's and they still had rooms. One reason we went to the bottom was to find a place to eat so we returned ate and headed back to our rooms. We found Mary and Joe making scones in their kitchen. We tried to buy some but they said no - they were for tomorrow. We didn't understand but then my daughter noticed a small machine setting in the corner and asked if it was a washing machine? Yes it is a washer and dryer in one machine. She wanted to wash and dry her undies. They said they had never used the dryer function but said they would do it so she could have clean clothes in the morning. We were to pay a little extra for the washing.
When we got up for breakfast we found the daughter's undies hanging all over the house on mirrors, the backs of chairs and just about any place else that would hold a piece of clothing. All of us except the daughter found it funny. At least they were clean and dry. At breakfast we each got a fresh scone before we headed back into Glendalough to walk around the ruins of St Kevin and read the lore. As we were getting into the car Joe brought an old bottle and asked me if I knew anything about it. It had a marble in the neck that could not come out and blocked the flow when tipped upside down. I told him I would look it up back in California which I did. I wrote him a letter explaining what the bottle was and its value - about $150 made in 1874.
The two things I remember are that one area was called St. Kevin's kitchen. In the midst of the walls of the small church and graveyard was a Round Tower - my first - something I found mysterious. To this day I am not satisfied with the explanation of Round Towers. I have seen many different explanations and I think they were not all created at the same time period or for the same reason. Some day a perfect explanation will be developed that answers my question. The first discussion I read said they were built by sun worshippers but that explanation could never be accepted by the church. The most frequent explanation was that they were built by the monks to hide/protect their valuables from the invading Vikings and other marauders. That seems too simple to me but most of them are built next to church. But not integrated into the layout of the other buildings. It doesn't make sense because it stands out as something unusual and I am sure an invading force would want to look inside. They seem like they would be easy to attack and destroy but there is still quite a few around. Building a huge bonfire would force anyone inside to give up or roast. So for me a round tower is still a mystery.
At last we visited St. Kevin's bed (a rock) and then left the same way we came in to Glendalough past Mary and Joes but they weren't open for that last scone.
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