Thursday, July 10, 2014

A day at the coast: Dún Laoghaire

Dún Laoghaire: [] Fort of Laoghaire.

It took me nearly a week to learn to pronounce correctly the name of this coastal town south of Dublin. I left the office one Friday asking my colleagues if Doon Loughrie would be a place worth a visit and I came back the next Monday telling them that Doun Laughrie has been a really nice daytrip. No one knew what I was talking about. After explaining briefly what I had seen and done and which bus I had taken, everyone said, 'Oh, Dunleary, lovely, isn't it?'. Ehm, yeah, that's exactly what I was telling you all this time. Anyway.

Dun Laoghaire

Living in Dublin I feel very fortunate for being so close to the sea and being able to go to the coast whenever I feel like. Unlike in Belgium or the Netherlands, where a trip to the coast was a big event due to the distances and hours spent on trains, in Dublin I'm spoilt for choice. Not that I really, really need to go to the beach everyday and that I miss the chance of laying under the sun all year round, but it just feels right to be able to go and see the sea every time I want. Probably this has to do with me coming from a small island. So one of the first things on my Ireland to do list was to explore the coastal surroundings of Dublin and a couple of weeks ago I started with a daytrip to Dún Laoghaire.

The bus stopping in front of my house goes from Phoenix Park to Dún Laoghaire and one sunny Sunday I decided to jump in and ride till the last stop. The Irish coast was awaiting me! The sun was shining brightly and as we left the city centre behind the sky became even more blue, if possible, and the brightness of the day was almost blinding. That was NOT the kind of weather I was expecting in Dublin and I was glad that my first venture outside Dublin wasn't drowned in rain and mist.

The bus ride to Dún Laoghaire was long, around an hour, but as soon as I stepped out from the bus I knew there was a fine day ahead. I could smell the sea, hear the gulls, feel the summer breeze on my face, it was perfect. Dún Laoghaire is a small town some 10 Km south of Dublin; its centre is small but full of cafés and shops and it has some beautiful buildings dating from the 19th century. It is an important port and one of its main attractions are the long piers, which embrace the harbour both from the east and the west. I took a long walk along the East Pier and entertained myself taking photos of everything around me. The shoreline, the fishing and sailing boats, the clear skies, the coastal vegetation and the stranded jellyfish in the water. I was walking for a good hour and the pier came to an end by the lighthouse. From the East Pier you can only guess the silhouetes of the bay of Dublin but you get a superb view of the Malahide Peninsula. Just before the lighthouse there was a single bench facing the ocean. I sat there for a while, breathed in the salty air and gazed into the blue sky. That was my first taste of Ireland outside Dublin and it was quite a tasty bite, now I'm hungry for more.

While in Dún Laoghaire I discovered the '99, a summer favourite of every Dubliner. This beloved cone of soft ice cream could be the most mundane ice cream in the world - in fact it is quite the same as a McDo cone - but everyone in Dublin will tell you that a '99 is a rather special thing with a distinctive taste that makes it different from every other ice cream in the world. Different or not, a '99 is a cone of soft ice cream with a bar of chocolate sticked on it and it usually costs €2.20, so I've no idea why they call it a '99.

Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire

Du Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire

Have you ever been to the Irish coast? Any recommendation to share or tales to tell?

Have a lovely Thursday!


  1. Es curioso lo del tema del idioma en Irlanda y la pronunciación, es algo que destacan mucho en todas las películas.Me han parecido unas fotos preciosas y muy veraniegas; espero que estés disfrutando de unos días de sol por ahí. Bss:)

  2. It was so worth that hour bus ride trip Irene. Absolutely lovely! Glad you enjoyed yourself.

  3. That looks like a beautiful day trip indeed. And 99 sounds like a real treat.

  4. Such a beautiful place! I love to hear about all your Irish adventures! I would not know how to pronounce any of these words. :)

  5. Looks like a fab trip. Lovely photos!


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