Oh, what a glorious day…

Tomorrow, for the first time in my life, I leave the British Isles and their territorial waters.

Oh, and today Jo and I had ice cream at the Gelateria in Bray.

That’s it.

… you want more?

Oh all right then.

This morning we stopped at Tesco in Greystones for the makings of a picnic before hitting the road to Enniskerry. Missing out Powerscourt because we are doing this on a budget, we headed on past Glencree to Sallygap and down along the military road to Laragh and then into Glendalough.

Glendalough is quite curious. Although the Church of Ireland has twelve dioceses, it has a lot more than fourteen cathedrals, because as well as Belfast Cathedral (built for the then united Dioceses of Down, Connor and Dromore) and St Patrick’s Cathedral (the National Cathedral), the twelve present dioceses were once divided into (at least) 35 smaller dioceses. At one time, all of them would have had their own cathedral, and indeed, to this day, the Diocese of Clogher has two cathedrals (one in Clogher and one in Enniskillen), making it unique among the dioceses that have never been split.

The Church of Ireland Directory notes a considerable number of cathedrals that have closed or been destroyed, including one which was destroyed by fire in the 12th Century. However, it makes no mention of Glendalough Cathedral at all, even though it was also destroyed before the Reformation (by the English Army in the 14th Century as it happens). I think it may have ceased to have been a cathedral in 1215, however, when Dublin and Glendalough dioceses were united, which makes things a little different… as well as the method of its destruction.

From Glendalough, we went down the Vale of Avoca to Arklow, and from thence along the coast road to Wicklow, and the N11 to Bray, where we hit the gelateria. Jo has pics of the two ice creams – she had a small chocolate ice cream, and I had an extra large mint choc chip. Look out for them on facebook soon.

After that, we hit the M50 and M1 to the City North Hotel. A nine-day trip is at the point where it is nearly cheaper to stay at a hotel offering free parking for guests for the duration of their trip than to pay for Airport parking, and I think that as a result we are effectively getting a free night’s accommodation, and only paying for breakfast. Dublin Airport was offering me parking at nearly €80, which is no joke.

Tomorrow morning – I leave the British Isles and their territorial waters for the first time in my life. Oh hang on, I’ve already said that, haven’t I?