I have always loved border collies. They are not only a beautiful breed, but also extremely hard working and intelligent.
Today was the final excursion of our long weekend, and we made a few different stops. Our first location was a sheep farm in the Wicklow Mountains where we got to see a demonstration on how they herd the animals using Bruce and Jerry, the father and son’s border collies. I have always heard that it is a fascinating process, but I have never seen it for myself. It was an absolute joy to watch and it was very interesting to hear about how the farm is operated. An interesting commonality in Ireland is the reliance on tourism. The wool industry completely tanked, it costs more to shear a sheep than the wool is worth, so the family decided to have these demonstrations as their primary source of income. Even still the farm has to be a part-time job for the parents.
Our next stop was a mere five minute drive away, Glendalough. We walked through the ruins of an old church that had become a graveyard in the eighteenth century. After that we walked down a trail and arrived at a beautiful lake set in the valley of the mountains. Nature never ceases to amaze and it was very nice to have some time to relax in such a setting. Even here, the effects of tourism were seen in the food stands that were a stones throw away from the water. I can hardly complain though, as the curry fries were stellar.
Our final destination was the town of Kilkenny. After all of the exploring in Dublin and the spending in Galway, most of us just took a very relaxed approach and took a short walk and lunch. This was hardly a bad thing though, as the town has many cool views. One of the highlights was the man creating bubbles for a group of Irish children at the local castle. It is very special to witness the excitement of youth in the center of their own history.