2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 46,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


A Great Day Had By All !

I had a very good walk recently with a group tour organised by NCBI for people who were blind or of impaired vision. There were many opportunities to examine in detail by touch such details as the cross on the sanctuary stone or the foundation stones of the Round Tower. The weather was kind to us on the day and by all accounts a great day was had by all. Thank you all. Martin

Glendalough Guided Walks's photo.

Good Advice

Glendalough 2

“If you go, hire Martin Swords”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 10 November 2012

We picked a house for a week rental near the town of Shillelagh. I specifically wanted to be in Wicklow, to be near Glendalough. I had been before and was amazed by its beauty and history. But this time, I hired a guide, something I rarely do. He is on TripAdvisor, Martin Swords. This man single-handedly made the experience a journey, not a visit. We were with him for hours, just the two of us.

He told the history, the nature of Pilgrimage, some off-colored jokes about Relics and other saintly items and legends. Martin was a retired teacher, but did not teach, he shared, he led you deeper into Glendalough than I ever would have imagined.

Even without him, this is still one of the most magical and special of places.

A Nice Review – Thank You Alman 1958 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thank you Alman 1958 for a really nice review – glad you enjoyed your

Glendalough Guided Walk (glendaloughguidedwalks.com)

Come back to Glendalough, or send your friends – I’ll look after them








A Letter From Glendalough

A Letter From Glendalough 

August 2012

I’m walking along the Green Road in Glendalough, when I realize I’m thinking about eyelashes! Eyelashes on babies and infants – and women’s reactions to them. I remember bits of conversations where women I know have reacted to the baby infants of friends, commenting on their beautiful eyelashes.  “You’ve no business having such beautiful eyelashes” I remember being said in reaction to a beautiful infant.

What is it about eyelashes that produce this reaction in women? What is this deep rooted primal response?

As a mere man I don’t understand. Perhaps it’s similar to a baby bird fluttering its wings to trigger a feeding  response in a mother bird. 

Some people would say I should be praying as I walk in the tranquil mystical setting of Glendalough.

In a way, this is what I am doing in remembering this.

Martin Swords August 2012

A Poem for Glendalough








Glendalough Suite


Hill of the white oak grove, beloved of Nelson’s fleet.

Victory left the valley folk burning faggots.

Lugduff & Poulaneass

Black Hole Mountain Brook, father of the two lakes.

Powerful force, a torrent in streams clothing.

Speaks to us in splashes now of the ice that spawned it.


Treacherous Pointed rock. Master view of lakes and valley,

luring unwary travelers to a sloping edge too far


Ton Le Gaoithe, Back To the Wind. Always the wind,

from every direction. Stick your head up proud high

over Wicklow.  Many an Ice Age since you were warm.

manys the bitter blast a Phog Do Thon.


The Pass of the Oak Wood, nobly named in ages past before

the rape of ships and mineshafts


Once a village, proud, hardwon, hardmade.That was then.

Now even Broc himself finds life hard on this bare and

barren rock



magic mystic valley cradled in its mountain arms

Martin Swords