“If magic still existed, it would be in Ireland”
This is one of my favorite things someone has said to me while traveling.
First of all, I love that the person who spoke these words counted magic as one of the realities of the past that somehow became extinct in modern times. Secondly, I love that so many of the people I’ve met on my various trips through Ireland see the beauty and magic in the place they are from.
I think most people, myself included, think the grass is always greener somewhere else in the world. I don’t know if it’s due to the extensive shades of actual green in Ireland, but the Irish seem to be aware that their corner of the world does have a magical feeling.
This past weekend I returned from my 4th trip to Ireland. If magic did exist in Ireland, I’m sure it was in Glendalough. The park, an easy day trip from Galway, is home to two lakes and trails that wind through the surrounding woods. The wooded path felt like something out of a fairytale,or Narnia, or something where extraordinary things are bound to happen. I thought that if I were to ever see a fairy or mythical creature it was definitely going to be here.
Sadly, none were seen – but I guess that’s part of their magic. Please look closely in this picture in case there is a magical creature I didn’t see on the first go-round.
In addition to wildlife, there is a monastic site founded by St. Kevin. The ruins of cathedrals and crumbling headstones add to the unique sense of otherness so ingrained in the area.
The history of the place is hard for me to wrap my head around. The headstone above is dated 1750, and I can’t picture what the area would have been like that long ago. The entire area of ruins is quiet with a certain mystique. We were told of myths of lingering ghosts, but I’d prefer to encounter the fairies if I’m able to choose.
If you’re looking for the magic in Ireland, Glendalough may be where it’s found again.