So today, a couple of fellow Pre-Veterinary students (Rachel and Shannon) and I decided to take the Dart, which is a passenger train, up north to Howth. I have mentioned this little fishing village in two of my previous posts. I was there for a few minutes on my last trip up the coast with Gerry, although it was dark by the time we arrived. Today's trip was actually prompted by my wanting to share with some others what Gerry had shown me along the coast last Sunday.
It was to be my first-ever ride on a train, so I was ready for the experience of a lifetime, which is exactly what I got. We had planned to start at Howth and work our way back south along the Dublin coast throughout the day, but little did we know what awaited us in that little fishing village up the coast or that we would in fact be spending nearly the entire day there.
Although we had planned to start the day early, the buses don't run until 9am on Sundays, so we caught the 9:30 bus into Dublin's city centre and walked to the Dart Station only to find that we needed to wait another 40 minutes for the train destined for Howth. Once the train arrived, we were well on our way....until the cables malfunctioned and our train took a fifteen minute break just minutes from the Howth Station. Once the train was back in action, we were able to arrive at our destination at about 11:30am.
|Pearse St Train Station|
|First train ride!|
|The piece of land that is separated from the coast is where Howth is located|
We first stepped off of the train and walked along the same stretch of harbor that Gerry showed me on my first trip to Howth.
|These hills are visible from any point along Ireland's east coast.|
|Shannon, Rachel, and myself|
|Shannon, myself, and Rachel|
|The wind continued to fight us throughout the day...|
|Fishing boat going out for the day...and the island known as Ireland's Eye|
|"Our Lass II"|
|Rachel, Shannon, and myself|
Next, we decided to try and find our way to the Martello Tower that we could see in the distance. We headed in that direction and following the signs...got some great pictures along the way.
|...up the street|
|Unfortunately there is no access allowed into this castle|
|But further up the hill we got a pretty good view of what was inside the courtyard|
We found the Martello Tower! This one has been converted into "Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio."
|There was no access to the top of the tower for safety reasons|
|But the view from just beside the tower was still a great one|
|More of the castle|
On our way back down the hill from the tower...we decided to see where this path led.
After a few minutes of walking and coming to a road, this is the view we found waiting for us.
Along the road, there were two older Irish men walking, and we asked them if they would mind taking our picture. It turns out one of the men is an Agriculture professor at UCD, and they then asked if we were taking the trail loop. They said it was beautiful, that it could take awhile, but that we should have a look. It didn't take much to convince us that we should take their word for it and go find the trails they spoke of.
It took us about twenty-five more minutes of walking uphill along the road, a few points at which we considered turning back. We decided to give it ten more minutes of walking to see what we might discover, as there was a bend in the road up ahead. When we came to the bend, there was indeed a trail leading up, up, up into the hills.
We climbed higher and higher, the view getting better with every step. The trail split off into a number of them, and we had our pick of which way we went.
|The Martello Tower we had just visited|
|These gorgeous yellow wildflowers were in bloom all throughout the hills|
|This brave diver was out in the cold, diving from at least fifteen feet|
above the water, which was by no means calm around these areas.
|No, we hadn't reached the top yet...|
|...but stopping to take in the view along the way|
And HERE is Black Linn, the highest peak in the village of Howth!
|Shannon, Rachel, and myself|
|Shadows of the hills on the water|
|Photo credit: Shannon Monaco|
After coming down from the hills, we stopped at a little homey restaurant called "Jamie's Cafe" for a much later lunch than we'd anticipated. Then, after lunch we shopped around Howth's outdoor market before getting back on the train. By the time the train left, it was already nearing 4:30pm, so we had only about an hour of daylight left. We decided to go ahead and visit one more village even though it would soon be getting dark.
We took the Dart south of Dublin's city center and campus, to find ourselves in Dún Laoghaire (pronounced "Dun Leery")
|The moon shining off of the water|
All in all, this was a perfect way to finish the weekend. Thanks for reading everyone!