A slightly different post today, talking not just about a destination but also about how we got there. We hope that this might give you a little more insight into our living in Dublin. So, a little more wordy, a few more photos, trying to tell more of a story. Some of the photos are necessarily a bit ordinary but there are still one or two which I think come out quite well.
We awoke on Saturday to a bright blue sky, no wind and a temperature of around 10 degrees (ie, warmish!). A lovely spring morning, so an ideal time to return to the village of Enniskerry which we had passed through on our recent Powerscourt trip. Public transport in Dublin is excellent and we had a choice of modes to get there and back. We chose to catch the suburban train into town and then change to the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) to go to Bray on the south coast, then catch a number 185 Dublin Bus to Enniskerry. To return, we could take the number 44 bus direct from Enniskerry to a bus stop in Drumcondra, our local “village”.
On the way
The train station is about 5 minutes walk from our place and you have to look hard to find the entrance in the red brick wall. The line itself is up at second storey level so there is very little to be seen at street level apart from a large viaduct crossing the road. The train was quite full, surprisingly for 9:15 on a Saturday morning, so we had to stand for two stops but that was only about 5 or 6 minutes and we got off at Dublin Pearse station, the third stop, to transfer to the DART. Much of the line runs through the suburbs but never far from the sea and we have good views over Dublin Bay as we approach Dun Laoghaire, the ferry port for the UK.
Further south we come suddenly upon a pleasant little bay in the area known as Killiney, a very exclusive enclave where people such as Bono and Enya own houses. Another couple of stops further and we reach Bray with its train station murals and then it’s onto the bus, sitting upstairs at the front for the best view as we trundle through the town and then on through quite narrow roads sometimes lined with picturesque cottages. Former residents of Bray include James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. We will come back to Bray at some later stage and do the coast walk to Bray Head.
Christ Church, Powerscourt
Alighting from the bus, we skirted the edge of Enniskerry, walking up the hill to the “New Church” built in 1863, a gift to the village by the owner of Powerscourt, the Marchionness of Londonderry. Turning off the road, we walked up a beech-lined track to a gate at the side of the church. It is quite a small church with the roof inside lined with wood, something that we have rarely seen. The sun was strong overhead and came through the windows in a very striking way which I have attempted to capture. It was actually quite nice to be in a church that was comparatively plain after the ornateness of many others we have seen, particularly in continental Europe.
Outside the church are many graves, a lot of them well-tended with freshly-cut spring flowers. The contrasting sun and shade made for some nice shots, we think, the flowers representing the renewing of the cycles of life up against the shaded memorials to the long dead. On the way out we found a clump of shamrocks at the foot of a tree.
Enniskerry and home
Then back down the hill to Enniskerry for lunch. We had been recommended a tea shop called Kennedy’s (the white building with blue facings in photo 2 below) so in we went only to find that it was full. The obliging owner said that if we returned in about 20 minutes she would keep a table for us, so off we went and sure enough, we returned to find that a table had been reserved, excellent service when there was such pressure on the tables. We were handed the breakfast menu. When I enquired about the lunch menu, this being about 12:20pm, she looked at me oddly and said, “No, no, we are still serving off the breakfast menu”. But this is Ireland where it’s not unusual for people to come in at 3pm for lunch. So we chose a Toasted Reuben with shaved pastrami, cheese, slaw, pickled cucumbers and horseradish sauce (yum) and Streaky Crispy Bacon with french toast and maple syrup (yum yum). Half way through our meals we swapped plates so that we both enjoyed the experience of each.
We spent a bit of time exploring some fascinating shops but it is not a large village so after admiring the village square and the retro telephone box, we headed back to the Number 44 bus stop for Dublin.
Shots 10 – 13 are on the way home. It amazes us how these double decker buses navigate quite narrow and windy roads. There is no doubt that when the sun is out, the greens in the fields of Ireland have a colour all their own, and finally we were taken with this bridge for the LUAS (the Dublin tram system, the only public transport system that we didn’t use that day) to carry it over the Dundrum centre of town. No pictures, but as we came back into Dublin we were diverted off our normal route because of not one, but two, protest marches that had taken place that afternoon. Protesting is a way of life here and we would guess that on average there would be at least two per month in Dublin across the year. Today’s protests would explain the full train that we encountered in the morning.