Walk on Water

One Irish tradition I got accustomed to very quickly is walking. The Irish love to walk – after a meal, through a park, along the sea – it barely matters where and it certainly doesn’t matter what the weather is like. That is one part I still haven’t quite adjusted to…

So this week, when spring seems to finally have arrived, and the evenings are lasting much longer with daylight savings , I thought it was time to get outside again. One of my favorite walks in Dublin is the Great South Wall, a 3-mile man-made sea wall that juts out into Dublin Bay. I finally remembered to bring my camera along on the walk, and it was the perfect night for photographs: a clear sky, still glassy water, and a slowly sinking sun.

There’s a little red lighthouse at the end, and the views are spectacular. The coastline of Dublin, from Dalkey to Howth, and everything in between, looks even better under a little golden spring sunshine. The sea wall is also close to a nature preserve, so you never know what type of wildlife you will encounter during the walk. This week we saw a seal poke his head up a few times, and some unusual birds that must have been in the middle of migrating.

You will need a car to visit the South Wall, or alternatively, take advantage of the free bike rental system in Dublin, Dublin Bikes, and cycle out to the wall. Despite its beauty, the wall hasn’t really caught on as a tourist attraction, so you never know who you will see. From politicians to writers, sports stars to Irish actors, the South Wall is a favorite local spot for Dubliners.

Next time you’re flying into Dublin Airport, look out the window into Dublin Bay for the 3-mile wall and the little red lighthouse.

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