Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wicklow Town

I am as perplexed as I am pleased with my second visit to Wicklow Town. I have yet to find a reason for my attraction to this Irish destination which lies nestled between the Wicklow National Park and Wicklow Bay. As I had stated in an earlier comment, 'Wicklow has all the grace and
appeal of an old rusty fish hook, but possibly there-in lies its charm.' Even the High Street has little appeal. With its odd assortment of shops that in no way even cater to tourists. It is an eclectic mix of toy shops, pharmacies, perfumeries, and meat markets. The harbor is, without question, a working harbor. If you have never been in close proximity to such a place, then you can only imagine the smell of fish, the dilapidated buildings that stretch around the quay (pronounced key),
and the haunting gray of the fog as it drifts in from the ocean and blankets itself across the quay. A life upon the sea is not an easy one. In other words; it ain't pretty. And neither is the harbor. Filled with old, sea worn fishing boats, silos, and large brownish buildings that have been battered by the inclement weather. The quay is meant for one purpose. Working. Fishing. Making a living and
providing for your family. And yet here I sit. The thing is; this town comes to life during a small festival known as Sea-fest. With the beginning of the 'Round Ireland Yacht Race, the town begins to pulse. It becomes a veritable sea of people, boats, music, and dance. With the echos of the Wicklow Pipe and Drum Band's bagpipes ringing out across the remnants of the Black Castle, with sailing boats, large and small, circling on the emerald water in anticipation of the start of the race, with multicolored biplanes circling over head, diving head long towards the water, pulling up at the last second; the crowd holding its collective breath, this town comes to life. The twilight during
these day is filled with the distant strumming of music which emanates from a stage that has been erected in parking lot of the SuperValu grocery store. Across the Lietrim River you can hear the screams and laughter of children as they cling to the brilliant rides at the county fair; streaks of purples and blues cascading
across the skyline; orange and red flashing lights glittering in the darkening sky. This place, this town, is alive with happiness, joy, with...life. I do not know if I would recommend Wicklow as a place to visit if the Sea-fest was not in full swing. However, I do know that I will come here again and again as even a rusty old fish hook can have its own beauty and purpose.

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