Glendalough (Irish: Gleann Dá Loch, meaning “Valley of two lakes”) is one of the oldest and most important monastic settlements in Ireland and was founded in the 6th century by St Kevin. Situated in a beautiful glacial valley in County Wicklow, it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
If you arrive here on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon you are liable to struggle finding a parking spot, being such a popular spot for walkers and families. And the reason isn’t hard to understand, once you spend a few hours walking the lakeside and forest paths. However it is the very early hours of the morning where Glendalough shows it’s true magic; those same hours most others are still in bed.
If the conditions are just right, water and air temperature along with complete calmness, you may be lucky enough to witness steam fog, also known as water smoke amongst other things. This occurs when water vapor is added to air that is much colder than the vapor’s source; most commonly, when very cold air drifts across relatively warm water. No matter the technical reason for it it is wonderful to witness and no more so than at the Upper Lake. After years spent photographing this enchanting location, finally my chance to witness this magic came at sunrise on August 16th, 2016.