Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm sitting in my local library, and who would have thought that it would be so full of people! Studious people working diligently on...well, actually it's mostly teenagers so they're probably working on Leaving Cert exams or something. But they sure look like they mean serious business. There aren't that many tables that I can see, so I'm in a chair with my laptop on my lap. I am supposed to be writing, but I wanted to make a quick blog update first.

I started this blog, to be honest, mostly for my father to read. It's strange to write in it knowing that he can't read it. But it's nice to know that I have a lot of other loved ones who are reading it still, and who I now keep in my mind and my heart as I go about my life in Dublin, and then write about it here.

Anyhoo - last Friday Mark and I had a fantastic outing to a place called Dalkey. Apparently this is where the rich and famous like Bono, Lisa Stansfield, and Enya live. We took the DART (that's kind of like the commuter rail in Boston) about a half hour or so and got off on the coast. We had nice lunch of veggie burgers and soy lattes at this cute little health food store called Select Stores. I wanted to buy a lot of things there, but we took one little snack to go and headed on our way. I took a photo of these farm fresh eggs, because I was just saying to a friend in Boston that the eggs aren't refrigerated in Ireland. This seemed a little unbelievable to me, too, when I first got here, but they taste so much better that way.

We started on our way, walking to an undisclosed location. Mark told me he'd been in the area before, but I didn't know until we'd started walking that it was my Dublin guide book that had given him the idea for this walk, so therefore he didn't *really* know where we were going. We sort of ambled down a street, and came upon...Beacon Hill! No, we weren't transported back to Boston, but I took a photo of the gate for posterity.

So we walked a little more, and decided to head towards the water, even though technically we were lost. And then we came upon this little park that had a very nice view.

Clearly this is where the rich people live, and you can see their houses here:

Wouldn't you like that view?
So we walked until we saw this little entrance to an uphill path, so feeling like Alice in Wonderland, we took it. If you look at this quickly, it looks like just a rock. Then you notice that it's a neat little rocky bench:

When we got up, we thought this was a pretty cool view:

but actually that was not even as good as what was to come...(as you'll see. remember the photo above's little brown bridge.)
So we were enjoying the nice view when I spied a little cat who looked curious about us, so I called her over. She was affectionate and friendly, and reminded me of my Gypsy at home.

When we left the little perch we'd climbed, she seemed so forlorn at our parting. Here she is, watching us walk away:

We kept truckin' along, and came upon that brown bridge pictured earlier, so we crossed it because it seemed to lead to the baths. Here's the view looking back to where we came from taken on the footbridge:

Baths aren't really a big thing in the US, I don't think. But they seem to be a pretty common thing in Ireland. Basically they're like man-made tide pools on the ocean that catch the water, where you can, well, bathe. Here's the one we came upon:

It's difficult to distinguish, but here are steps that go into the water:

The weather and the atmosphere were so pleasant, that I felt the most content that I'd felt since I got back to Dublin. So I took the kind of photo I only take when I'm feeling content: a photo from my point of view at the moment:

Here I am, happily lounging in the sun like one of those walruses or seals you see in National Geographic:

We kept on walking, and as you can see the views started to seem less like Ireland and more like somewhere a LOT warmer:

Then we entered the walkway up to the obelisks. Yes, that's right! Obelisks! I think there are fairies hiding behind these trees:

When we got to the top, there was a curious pyramid of steps. Naturally, being human, we had to climb it:

Here's the view from up there:

At the obelisk, some little boys were playing warrior games, and it did seem like a pretty damn cool spot to play imaginary games, especially if you're going to pretend to be knights and wizards and stuff.

On the other side of the obelisk, there was a pretty neat view, which my little camera can't even begin to visually describe:

Then we began the descent down the hill, and stopped to eat our little snack here:

We admired all the fancy houses, and I decided which ones I'd like to buy. I probably couldn't live out there full time, but they would be great second homes, I reckon. Then we spied this curious pathway that ran between two property walls. It was so long and narrow that you couldn't see to the other side, and it looked like it could be a dead end or else haunted. But not lacking in a sense of adventure (and it pointed in roughly the direction we wanted to go, which wasn't the same direction as the road), we decided to turn down it.

And sure enough, it led us exactly in the right direction! Then we caught site of these gorgeous and gigantic trees. I tried to take a photo but it was a total failure because these trees were behind a fence (aka someone's yard) and so huge. But as we walked, and took deep breaths, we realized from the beautiful and refreshing smell that these were eucalyptus trees. Imagine have a bunch of eucalyptus trees in your yard! That's my new dream, I decided.

Then we got back on the DART in Killiney and headed back to Dublin. We met a friend at Bruxelles which was actually a pretty nice hangout! I dunno about upstairs, but downstairs they split the place up -- one side is like the "rock" side with death metalesque music playing and dark hardcore decor, and the other side is a little more "pop" with a more light atmosphere. I took a photo of a Bowie stencil done on the wall of the poppy side:

Then we met up with another friend at The Long Stone, and man was that place a trip! The inside is nuts, with all these (fake?) trees and this huge...I'm not actually even sure what you'd call it...a wall sculpture? Anyways, it was a fun time: