The Wicklow mountains are said to be thick with gold. They're the first thing you see when you fly into Dublin, with the strangely sloping conical head of the Sugar Loaf rearing up majestically in the distance. There is a hiking trail called the Wicklow Way that starts in a suburb of south Dublin, Rathfarnham, and ends in a completely different county, Carlow, 127 kilometers later, and goes through some of the most picturesque parts of the country. These are old glacial hills, filled with azure coloured corries, lakes left behind when glaciers dragged their heavy asses down the mountain. The area is full of old woods, stone circles, and rivers flowing fast and free. If ever there was a fairy country, this is it. Glen of the Downs, Roundwood, Glendalough, it is a place to get lost in and learn the way of the wind.
A few hours from Dublin are the lush Wicklow mountains. We took a short road-trip here a few years ago in September and I have the most beautiful memories of this place. The mountain air cleared the cobwebs from my head but was also incredible for my skin. Inhaling the fresh air and the crispness of early autumn did wonders for the soul too. Pack a picnic if you go here and be prepared for an assault of colors. Every shade of green with a good measure of purple heather thrown in.