Well, its safe to say I’m not quite getting the inner city experience, at least not for five days of the week. Having been sent to live with a host family in the seaside resort of Dalkey, and working just two stops away on the DART in Dun Laoghaire, I don’t travel further into Dublin than the peripheral region of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown (CO Dublin).
Its true, I don’t get to wind my way through a maze of buildings, scanning every food establishment I pass, in the snatched hour I get off work, for some (most likely over-priced) lunch. It only takes me a shameful seven minutes to get to work on the DART each morning. I’ve been having to contend with a brisk one minute walk down to Dun Laoghaire pier in my breaks, where the only view to speak of is the expanse of sky and rolling, blue sea.
Wait, none of that sounds so bad. OK, maybe its pretty jammy.
I’ve actually tackled the walk from Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey, one optimistic Friday evening after work. It took me about an hour, including an involuntary detour (or, ‘taking the ‘scenic’ route’).
For the first twenty minutes or so, its a straight stroll by the sea, past the famous Teddy’s ice cream store (which any Irish person will tell you is legendary), so its a rather agreeable journey home. I’ll admit I did sample an Oreo ice cream cone from Teddy’s – I was expecting something rather amazing, but to me it just tasted like a slightly nicer than usual Mr Whippy. Perhaps my expectations that Teddy’s would change my life and help me reach Nirvana were just a tad too high.
Also en route home, I saw quite a few rather ginormous black birds sitting on the rocks down below. They may have been cormorants or shags, but I didn’t get a good enough picture of them to find out for sure. All the same, they looked pretty impressive!
The best part of walking home though, has to be going past The 40 Foot bathing place. It used to be an exclusively male, nudist bathing site, but is now open to all. Even at a quarter to six on a friday evening, scores of people in just their swimming cozzies and a flimsy towel were making their way, as if drawn by some kind of supernatural force, to the formidable looking spot. The rock strewn inlet would look desolate, if it weren’t for the constant line of people plunging into the swirling, ice cold sea. The water is deep enough that you can jump in even at low tide, although neither the water nor the rocky ledge that swimmers are leaping off of measure up to forty feet.
All in all, I may not be living the life of a ‘city girl’, but I’m pretty lucky to be living where I am – I wouldn’t dream of changing it!