Cliff walking in Howth

From the Connolly train station we took the DART to Howth. All over Dublin we saw everything written in two languages Irish and English. Thus also on the train.
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I love that both languages are exactly the same size not giving one language the precedence over the other (unlike in Quebec).

Upon arrival we first took a picture of the map to know where to go. These maps and other signs are all over the island as well, the Irish are really nice to tourists!Handy 731
But first we stopped at the local market for a bit of sustenance, a blueberry scone which was barely edible (still, I ate half of it). And no, a scone is not the same as these cup cakes in the first picture.IMG_8463IMG_8464The sustenance was needed because breakfast had been small and the walk we planned was long. Take a look around the harbor. Can you see the palm trees?IMG_8466IMG_8468IMG_8469IMG_8471IMG_8472

For all poet lovers, Yeats lived here for a couple of years.IMG_8479
And a couple of doors further down we saw an “Emily”. If you want to read the real love story behind it, click here.IMG_8481

We passed the last of the houses and there was only nature ahead of us. The track took us up and down and since it had rained until the early morning there were lots of puddles to avoid. This was no “Handtascherlweg” (an expression I heard shortly before reaching the top of the Sonnblick, a mountain over 3000m high; meaning it was quite steep and rough), but it was well worth it. The view was amazing and all in all even I felt really connected to nature here and usually I am not into these things. The brown stuff you see on the first picture is actually fern and it was totally dry. Very weird.IMG_8482IMG_8484IMG_8486IMG_8488IMG_8490IMG_8491IMG_8492IMG_8493IMG_8498IMG_8501IMG_8504IMG_8506IMG_8508IMG_8510IMG_8515IMG_8516IMG_8518
I hope I didn’t swamp you with these pictures but it was heartbreakingly beautiful walking there and I just wanted to share this with you. We also saw a couple of birds and other animals while walking. So these are for all the animal lover out there.IMG_8513IMG_8519IMG_8535Handy 766

The whole tour took about two hours and we kind of walked a small circle, coming back to the village again from another side. Have you noticed by the way that in Ireland the gorse is still in bloom?

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And then we decided to take a short-cut which sounded like a good idea at first but involved climbing down sideways. Not something I want to repeat.Here the view looking down.

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The amazing view at this point.IMG_8532Looking back up.

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With this steep descent behind us we were back in civilization and ready for something to eat. But this is another story.
Yours, Pollybert

The north side of Dublin

Saturday morning finally the rain had stopped. Actually the weather announced a mix of sun and clouds and it turned out to be true! Yeah, great way to start the day when a day-trip was planned. Here is my view out of the window and you can see the sunshine in all its glory.

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And that was it for most of the morning. Ah never mind, we had a long day ahead of us and more sunshine to come.

We had agreed on a day-trip to Howth a small coastal village to the north-east of Dublin which is located on an half-island. To get there we needed to take either the DART (a train) or the bus. We settled on the train in the end since we found no time-table for the bus.
To get to the train station we needed to cross the Liffey and get to the north side of the city (or so we thought, these guide books are really not so helpful in the end. There were of course nearer stations to our hotel). We used this chance to explore the city on the North side and find some place for breakfast. I took some pictures along the way, so please enjoy.IMG_8418IMG_8420IMG_8421IMG_8424IMG_8426IMG_8429IMG_8435IMG_8436
Dublin also has a tram which astonished me.IMG_8438
Another shopping street on the north side with lots of Christmas decoration. The Irish seem to take Christmas very serious, especially the window decorations all over the city!IMG_8440IMG_8442
A busker out early who played good music (definitely worth supporting)!IMG_8443

Some more impressions from along the way.IMG_8444
The entrance to a butcher shop.IMG_8445IMG_8446IMG_8448
The Charles Stewart Parnell statue on O’Connell Street.IMG_8450

Please note how the arc of the harp is on the left side. It had to be on the left side because Guinness already had the harp as its emblem showing to the right. And since Guinness was founded in 1759 and Ireland got its independence in 1921, guess who had the older rights?

Finally we saw the Spire of Dublin close up.IMG_8452
And one of Dublin’s most famous citizen James JoyceIMG_8455

When we at last stopped for breakfast around the corner from the Connolly train station there were not a lot of inviting places around. We settled on a small café which had exactly two kinds of toasts and something like a mille-feuille. Of course we tried it but it was nothing to rave over.IMG_8459
The coffee on the other hand was excellent and after a second round we were ready to leave the city.
Yours, Pollybert