Sunday, September 6, 2015

DARTing down to Bray

While  in Dublin I stayed in the seaside town of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dunleery).  On my past two visits to Dublin I stayed in the city centre...never again!  (okay, staying at the Shelbourne Hotel my first time over in 1975 was kind of nice....couldn't afford it now.  Why did I seem to have so much more money then?  Oh yeah..I didn't travel as much....)  The coastal towns around Dublin are the only place I will stay now.  I love the sea and with the DART it's a short ride into the centre of Dublin...sleep by the sea at night and in the city by day...what could be better?  The suburban train called the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) was ideal as I could zip into Dublin or anywhere along the far north as Howth in the north and Graystones in the south.  I knew I had to take the DART - I read a lot of Irish chick lit and the protagonists are always taking the DART into the city!

So on Sunday the 3rd of May off I went DARTing south to Bray...

I left from my local station in Sandycove & Glasthule - the train runs mainly along the coast so I sat on the sea side of the train with my nose practically pressed to the window the entire time.  Just over thirty minutes later the train pulled into Bray station. To my delight there were some lovely mosaics of Bray station throughout the years...

From the station I headed down to the seaside and wandered along the rocky beach...ah bliss!  Being a Sunday there were many families  as well but it did't feel crowded in early May.  I imagine on a warm day in July or August it would be swarming.

This was the rocky beach - walking along here was a good work out!

Yes the weather was quite "moody" when I arrived in Bray but it soon cleared up into a lovely day.

Beautiful view of Bray Head and local hotels and homes....I could not get enough of this view!

The walk to Bray Head.  I did not research Bray so did not attempt to walk up to Bray Head - in retrospect  I regret that as I would have had some great views and it wasn't too strenueous so they say... Ah well, a good excuse to go back right?  I did enjoy what I saw and that's the main thing.  I sat on benches (or rocks) and enjoyed the views when I got a bit tired.

View from the walking path on the way to Bray Head.  I stopped and turned around just past here.

Coming back I walked along the sidewalk and stopped for an ice cream at Teddy's.  Can you believe it, I didn't take a picture!!!  Just let me assure you that it was delicious!

It was such a pleasant walk and the town looked adorable - I'd like to visit during the week when more businesses are open.

Slowly I made my way back to the train station - I really enjoyed Bray but it was time to explore a few more places....on to Dalkey which was just up the line.  Bono lives in Dalkey as did the famous Irish author Maeve Binchy - it's where the "elite" of Dubln live...It was settled by the Vikings and was a very important port in the Middle Ages...yes definitely on the list when my travels take me back to Dublin...

Here is Dalkey castle.  Dalkey castle was one of seven fortified houses/castles which were built to hold offloaded goods shipped by sea during the Middle Ages.  They had defence features built in to prevent them from being plundered.  You can tour the inside of the time!!!

Another view...

The high street in Dalkey.  I stopped at a pub and had a (very) late lunch.  I was just too tired to explore Dalkey much this time around.  Of course the rested Laurie sitting at home on a Sunday morning drinking her coffee wants to shake the Dalkey Laurie and say "stupid woman, why didn't you do more exploring" but I remember being so tired.  I was too tired to even try to find the water front...all that sea air and walking in Bray had worn this gal out!!!

So back on the DART with a couple of half hearted stops to explore towns along the way that I won't even share with you as they were so pathetic!!!  Not the towns, my exploration of them...- I was tired!!! (have I said that enough?)  The DART is a great way to explore the coast line around Dublin...clean, efficient and fairly reasonable - as long as you don't stick your three day pass into a slot when the exit is actually open (no names here!) and it disappears forever...

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