Archive for the ‘Outside Dublin’ Category

Day out at Dalkey Island

I have been fortunate to have amazing friends in Dublin, so when one is getting ready to move, it inevitably means farewell do’s, planned by one friend or another. Typically, there would be some sort of final house party (last week), drinks at the pub (last Friday) and dinner amongst close friends (in a few days). Yesterday, a friend also planned for an activity day, which saw us all heading out to Dalkey Island.

Situated just off the coast not far from Dalkey (to the south of Dun Laoghaire), we took the chance that the weather would be decent and decided to go there for a picnic/BBQ. With everyone instructed to bring a little food, and someone in charge of buying the portable BBQ trays, we were pretty much all set.

Getting there was easy. Just grab a southbound DART and get off at Dalkey. From there, walk down Railway Road (I know, unimaginative name) and once coming to a main junction at the village, cross the road, go a little further down and turn right for Coliemore Road. Continue along the road for about 5 minutes and you’ll see the sign for ferry/boat to Dalkey Island by the road. It’s kinda hard to miss. But just in case anyway, here’s a Google Map as guide.

Dalkey Island

It costs €10 per person for return trip to the island, operated by a local guy. There’s no strict timetable and they will operate to/fro throughout the day, depending on demands. Even if there’s just a couple of you, he will take you over. But mind, this is during the summer months. In winter, I am not sure how things are fixed there. (I should have asked I guess)

The island is small enough to walk around, and there are a couple of ruins that you can check out, including a promontory fort. There is also a Mortello tower on the island. When walk around, just pay attention to the rabbit burrows (you wouldn’t want to twist your ankle or something) as well as for thorny plants but apart from that, this island is a little paradise away from the city.

The lovely view of Dublin Bay (especially on a sunny day), seal spotting (we spotted 4 of them), goat spotting (there is a herd of them), bird watching… these are what you can do here, nature wise. We noted a couple people camping there too, whereas we were there for picnic/BBQ. We were very lucky that we caught a break with the weather, and the sun shone for a couple of hours while we were there. Such relaxing setting, was it any wonder that we all had a great time? ;-)

One thing to remember, if you do go there, please do not leave your litter behind. Be responsible. The BBQ may be too hot to pack into bin bag immediately, but if you plan ahead, as soon as you finish cooking, pour a little water over the coal to help them cool quicker. By the time you finish eating and polish off all the food/desserts on offer, the portable kits will most likely be good to go too.

When you are ready to leave, all you need to do is to be at the steps where the local boat guy left you earlier. He should see you at some point and will come over to collect you. Whistle over for attention if you are able to and getting impatient waiting for him to see you from the other side.

This really is a great way to spend a day away from city madness, so why don’t you give it a go with a group of your friends?

Day trip – Bray Head

Bray Head is a hill between towns of Bray n Greystones and it has a beautiful hiking trail along the coast and has wonderful landscape and great views of Dublin City from the Cross on hill top. We did a hike there yesterday, it was quite surprising weather. As we arrived there (nice n sunny from city center), there was thick mist n fog all over the place and freezing wind.
2008-05-05 Bray Head Hike 006
But we can still see the clear blue skies above, so headed towards the hill and its just crazy over the top – nice, warm, sunny, less windy, gorgeous views of town n Dublin Chimneys rising from the mist.
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Dublin Twin Chimneys n Houth – Over the Mist

If you around Dublin and the weather is good, take the DART line to Bray and enjoy the beautiful settings, beach n hike of Bray Head.

Stephen’s Day Adventure

Today is St. Stephen’s Day here in Ireland, which is also known as Boxing Day in the UK and December 26 to us normal folk from America. The thing that frustrates me about spending the holidays in Ireland is the lack of what I like to call “comfort space”.Comfort space is a state of mind, more than a place, reserved for the holidays. It’s the feeling you get when you’ve watched two DVD’s and you’re about to choose a third, and there’s no pressure to be doing something else. It’s when you can sit around a messy dinner table and talk and laugh and not worry about how or when the dishes need to be cleared, and the most pressing issue on your mind is where you’re going to lay your stuffed, weak body for a long, undisturbed nap. (more…)

Dingle…Murphy’s Ice-cream?

In the 18 degree weather, where the sun was shining down on me, I was roasting and eating ice cream..which brought me to this idea…..

Has anyone ever been to Dingle? One of my best friends went to Dingle during easter break and had the best-ice cream in the world. (Or so I claim).. She had it fresh. Scooped straight out of the cooler, just like ice cream is meant to be served.

In Fallon & Byrne, the posh, hip (Read: semi-expensive as well), and Trader Joe’s type, Dean and Deluca’s type marketplace, they sell Murphy’s Ice-Cream in the small tubs and big tubs. I started from Vanilla, and worked my way into Rum Raisin and Chocolate. Apparently they also have wonderful flavors like Kahlua and Cappucino… :)

I just found out that the owner of Murphy’s ice-cream has a blog!!


Check it out, it’ll make you drool!

Enjoy the summer GUYS!!

Ancient “Royal Temple” Discovered

The discovery of a major prehistoric site where experts believe an open-air royal temple once stood has stalled construction of a controversial four-lane highway in Ireland.

via National Geographic


Old story… but just heard (i.e. read online) it…

The Irish government is planning to run a highway through the hill of Tara

via Metafilter

getting out of the city is good for you!

If you have a spare afternoon on a lazy weekend, do what I did and head out to the coastal towns of Malahide and Howth, easily accessible from the DART lines at Connolly and Tara Street stations. After a half-hour’s ride, you step out to the peaceful, picturesque villages, so different from Dublin’s constant bustle. It was a relief in a way to go there, a way to relax yourself from the metal buzz you’re constantly veiled in, when you live in a city.

Howth also has a lovely farmer’s market on Sundays, though I don’t know how much longer into the cooler weather it will last. Malahide has a long stretch of park-beach that the whole town seems to congregate it, and you can spend a pleasant few hours watching the clouds pass by and the dogs chase the waves. I highly reccomend this, especially before the weather turns.

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