Welcome New Year 2019 – Glendalough

What a lovely way to welcome in the New Year other than a walk in the countryside of beautiful Glendalough.

Skimming stones in Glendalough.jpg
At the upper Lake in Glendalough Co. Wicklow, people have fun skimming stones and to see how many times they hopSkimming stones in Glendalough at the Upper Lake.jpg

About Glendalough

Glendalough Valley is located in the Wicklow Mountains and has many attractions to enthral visitors, from its world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower   dating back to the 6th century, its scenic lakes and valleys, as well as a selection of walks and trails in the area including The Wicklow Way.

Glendalough has a mystique and sense of majesty about it.

I have painted Glendalough, both the Upper Lake and Lower Lake so many times and yet, I never tire doing so.

Serenity at its best – Upper Lake Glendalough

For thousands of years people have been drawn to ‘the valley of the two lakes‘ for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. Glendalough is a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul.

St. Kevins Tower Glendalough peers out above the landscape
St. Kevins Round Tower, Glendalough peers out above the landscape

Step into the deep woodlands in Glendalough
Step into the deep woodlands in Glendalough


The Climb

We took the “blue” route which was considered to be the most difficult. Huh! no bother to me,  I can easily do that, I thought! Big wooden, studded boulders led the way on into the mountain – on and on – up and up! It was relentless. Feeling like a pressure cooker  about to blow a gasket  and forced to stop! Gasp! 

Heading along the blue route by the Upper Lake in Glendalough
Heading along the blue route by the Upper Lake in Glendalough

 Attempting to look suitably cool, cheeks glowing, we drew in big gulps of air. New year resolutions uppermost in our minds, we vowed we would get fit, exercise more, make a new start. Gathering ourselves, we took regular stops and reassured ourselves that the mountain wasn’t going anywhere! So, in effect, we had permission to slow down and enjoy the experience.

The view from on high at Glendalough
The view from on high at Glendalough

Having reached the top, the landmass somewhat levelled out
(phew!). The magnificent scenery unfolded and stole our breath away.

On top of the World

On top of the world in Glendalough Co. Wicklow
On top of the world in Glendalough Co. Wicklow

The climb continued around the mountain but seeing the car in the distance prompted a descent.

A glimpse of my car, so very far away in the car park at Glendalough
A glimpse of my car, so very far away in the car park at Glendalough


The Descent

Heading down was easier – sure-footed and slow. Feeling somewhat amused at others passing us by skipping and hopping like, mountain goats!

Poulanass Waterfall
Poulanass Waterfall

Along the way, we hear the roar of Poulanass Waterfall.  It marks a sudden drop where a hanging valley meets the main Glendalough valley.

It is thought that during the last Ice Age, a glacier flowing down this small valley was cut off when a larger glacier carved a deeper channel down the Glendalough valley. At the end of the last Ice Age, Glendalough only had one lake, where two now lie.

Descending down the steep hill in Glendalough
Descending down the steep hill in Glendalough

The day began to draw to a close and the landscape was cloaked with a dusky haze.

Short winter days, steal away the time from us and brings the day to an early close as the darkness falls.

Even though the mountains were silent and serene, the people would go home and leave this heavenly place to rest for another day.

I pondered about another whole life experience waiting to happen!

Deer, Rabbits, Foxes, Squirrels and all the other wildlife waiting on night to descend. A whole new experience would unfold in these awesome mountains – foraging and going about their way – investigating the discards of the day from the tourists.

One last visit to the Upper Lake – it’s time for home

“Good Evening and thank you for a lovely day Glendalough”

Into the Ether

Into the Ether Series
Into the Ether Series diptych

Another painting – diptych from the Into the Ether series.

I hope you like it.

The Pigeon House, Dublin

Pigeon House Dublin 14 x 12" Oil on canvas Oil Painting Donna McGee
Pigeon House Dublin 14 x 12″ Oil on canvas

About The Pigeon House

The Pigeon House, also referred to as The Poolbeg Generating Station is situated on the River Liffey in Ringsend Dublin.  The iconic chimneys are so-called, because of their caretaker John Pidgeon. The story began with the shipping difficulties encountered in navigating  Dublin bay around the time of the late 1700’s.  Construction work began to make the channel deeper and The Great South Wall, the longest of its kind in Europe was constructed.

A more permanent fort  built shortly afterwards,  remained in operation until 1897, when the building was sold to Dublin Corporation.  They wished to build a power station to supply energy to the fast-growing city.  The power station, initially coal-fired, began operation in 1903.

View of The Pigeon House in the distrance from Dalkey © Donna McGee
Distant view of The Pigeon House from Dalkey © Donna McGee

It was finally decommissioned in 1976.  Its massive chimneys became a famous Dublin landmark and have become a favorite with many artistic interpretations.

Take a flight inside the Poolbeg Chimneys