I consider myself a lucky person as I regularly find nice things while not specifically looking for them. But a whole park with breathtaking views only twenty minutes bike ride from where I live? Well, here’s the tale of an afternoon full of serendipity.
Last Sunday I was trying to reach Dalkey through a new, to me, trail: The Metals. This trail, which was built at the beginning of the XIX century to transport rock from Dalkey Quarry to Dun Laoghaire to be used in the building of the harbour, is now a peaceful pedestrian walkway for people living along the route (… and for explorers like me) to get to Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey.
Arrived at the end of it, I was approached by a very gentle woman who was walking her very expressive dog. We had a little talk (Irish people are very friendly and talkative so I’ve become very good at small talk) and just before we said our goodbyes, she pointed at the hill over my shoulder and offered to show me the way to reach the top, if I felt up to it. I walked with her a little bit, petted the dog a little bit more and off I went.
The uphill ride, which to my surprise I completed without fainting, opened up to an astonishing view over Dublin Bay but nothing could have prepared me for the spectacular view at the end of the woodland trail. I think ‘heart-stopping’ is the right word here.
Dalkey Quarry is very popular among rock climbers and the guy with the blue helmet behind my bike was one of them.
Can you see the anchor in the lower left-hand corner?
Riding back along The Metals and Atmospheric Road, whose unusual name doesn’t refer as I thought to a distinct quality of the place but to the atmospheric pressure which propelled the trains, my stomach started to rumble so I stopped at the People’s Park Market for a snack and some people-watching.
If you are still reading (I know, this has been a very long post) these last two images are of Dun Laoghaire harbour, whose piers were built with the granite quarried in Dalkey.
Thank you for making it to the end. I hope you enjoyed it!
Camera: Horizon Perfekt
Film: Lomography CN 400
Locations: Killiney Hill Park / Dalkey Quarry / Dun Laoghaire – Co. Dublin