10 things I love about Dublin

Its been a week since we’ve left Dublin and I can honestly tell you it still feels like a part of me is missing! Dublin stole a piece of my heart and I can’t wait to go back there some day.  As we start to ease into normal life here in Cape Town, I often think about Dublin and wonder what’s it doing right at this time.  Is Dublin raining on enough people, is the constant weather mood swings driving people nuts or has everyone finally seen the beauty that Dublin has to offer, so here is my list of reasons why I love Dublin.

10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT DUBLIN

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  1.  Daffodils everywhere.  I can’t get enough of all the beautiful daffodils all around Dublin.  Its like a yellow field of happiness.
  2. Church bells ringing.  Hearing church bells always ringing and some even ringing in a hymn.  Its sure a lot nicer on the ears than sirens.
  3. Cathedrals.  Stained glass, architecture, the history these cathedrals are all wonderful to explore and all of them are amazingly unique in their own special way.
  4. Grafton Street buskers.  Grafton Street is filled with the most talented musicians you will ever come across.  I mean these guys are so good, they would make every future rockstar try a little harder.
  5. The accent.  The wonder accent of the Irish! Its like a song on the ears and the further you get out of Dublin the more and more difficult in gets to understand what people are saying.
  6. Polite people.  Dublin is filled with the most polite people you will ever meet. People make an effort to stop for you as a pedestrian, someone is always letting you go in front of them at the grocery store, just because you don’t have as much groceries as they do and the honour code is strong in Dublin, all around you, you see people following the rules and taking pride in it.
  7. Scenery.  The scenery all over Dublin is breathtaking and most things are just a quick train, bus or walk trip away.  From amazing cliff walks to pebbly beaches.
  8. Most of the museums are free.  Explore the national gallery and see Van Gogh, Picasso and a Monet painting, with many more gems waiting to make you feel like a pretentious art student.  Or go and look at the bog bodies and the Museum of archaeology.  There is so much to do, but so little time!
  9. Parks.  There are so many different parks all over Dublin worth exploring.  These parks are amazing to walk through and even better to people watch.
  10.  Castles galore! It feels like everywhere you look in Dublin there is a castle waiting to be explored and who doesn’t love a castle?

I’m starting to feel like I’m having Dublin withdrawals!

an instant of life captured for eternity

Life around here has been a bit crazy! We’ve been trying to squeeze in every last minute thing we still HAVE to see before we leave on Monday.  Its true what they say, time flies when you are having fun.  Four months have come and gone and I can’t believe we are almost saying goodbye to Dublin, but new adventures await in the everyday norm.  Heading back to South Africa seemed like it would be such a drag, but we are moving to beautiful Cape Town, so how can I be mad about that. I’ve lived nearly everywhere , but I’ve never given Cape Town a try.  I was always apprehensive about  a place that the wind blows so hard you have to hold onto a street pole, true story! Resistance training will be easy in Cape town!

I finally managed to buy gifts for all our family and I feel really good about the things we picked out, hopefully they like it, but souvenirs is just a nice way of saying ” I travelled around, while you didn’t”. I found the perfect gift for my sister, I actually felt really silly about not thinking about it, because I kept trying to find my surname in the Irish crest coasters, which was really stupid, I mean my maiden surname is German and my new surname is Dutch, but my sister married a good old Irish boy! Carl found their crest and looked really happy with his amazing gift giving skills, good job Carl, you finally managed to pick out a good gift! He usually sucks at giving gifts.  We came here when it was winter and now we are heading back when its Autumn in South Africa, I don’t know when I will see a summer again, vitamin D seems like a distant memory at this point.

I will miss this crazy beautiful, always raining, yeah its kind of spring but cold place, but a new challenge awaits and I’m ready for it!

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^^ Found this random fair on one of our night walks.

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^^ This pipe really intrigued me.

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^^ The museum of archaeology is filled with wonder and really disgusting bog bodies.

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^^  I love a good mosaic.

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^^ Crazy hair.

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^^ When you are the happiest out of all your new friends.

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^^ The detail on this is just amazing!

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^^ Naked statues! and my insanely weird feet.

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^^ A tree.

Spring in Dublin

Spring is definitely here to stay in Dublin, the flowers are in bloom, the trees are getting their leaves back, the birds are chirping and we can finally go out without wearing 5 different layers.  We are down to two layers.  Whoohoo!

The daffodils and tulips all over the city is enough to make me want to run rampant singing, Disney songs, while feeding deer and getting chased by squirrels.  Surprisingly all that is possible here in Dublin.  I’m really close to just going full Princess by buying a tiara and gown and just going with it, it won’t even be frowned upon during this time, because the St Patrick’s day festival is a couple of days away and we are all ready to wear our best green outfits and be Irish for a day.

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^^ A daffodil explosion!

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^^ Spring blooms.

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^^ we went to a baptism and had a lovely springy walk home.

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^^ Nature, always trying to make an escape for it.

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^^ I’m obsessed with them.

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^^ We went for a little walk in the park before heading to dinner with friends.  Notice the small amount of layers?

Dublin After Dark

The short days are finally over and all of sudden its spring, night time comes by way later these days, and the days are glorious.  The perfect, just warm enough weather to really go meander in and not feel uncomfortable, every time I think I can’t possibly fall more in love with Dublin, I fall harder than before.  At this rate I’m going to start stalking Dublin!

Walking around everywhere and anywhere has been the most amazing treat for me, walking around in a city is the best way to explore all the little nooks and crannies, we walk the same route into the city every day, but every time I see something new.  After church yesterday Carl and I decided to wait until it got dark to go take a walk in the city. Since we’ve been here we haven’t really been out at night, mostly because we’ve been too tired from day time activities.

Dublin at night is when the city comes alive! People walking to restaurants, coming home from a hard day at the pub, couples strolling down twinkle light streets, parents playing with their kids trying to tucker them out before bed and dogs everywhere, getting taken on numerous walks.

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^^ beautiful sunset over the canal.

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^^ Bicycles waiting to be taken for a ride.

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^^ Carl, looking at bicycle hire machine.  I love his little hat.

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^^ Just standing around in the pretty lights.

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^^ The theatre looks magical.

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^^Standing in the triangle.

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^^ Swinging from the pole.

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^^ Even the bars look good at night.

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^^ I love the reflection on the water.

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^^ Big ol’ bridge.

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^^ Casual strolls.

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^^This old school boat gave a creepy feel.

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^^ Even the churches get in on the lights.

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^^ You can rest your weary bones and stare at this colourful city right here.

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^^ Reflections

Walking around after dark felt like such a freeing thing to do.  Walking without fear, with no specific reason in mind and just wanting to scream “I LOVE YOU DUBLIN”, is amazing.

 

Howth Cliff Walk On A Windy Day

Howth cliff walk on any given day is not for the faint at heart.  Small paths, sheer drops, sharp rocks at the bottom and some thorny bushes just to get your adrenaline pumping, but Howth cliff walk on a windy day is a completely other story.  The cliff walk is a short walk from the dart station, up a road filled with beautiful houses with amazing ocean views, I stared in awe at these beautiful houses as we climbed higher and higher getting to cliffs.  When we reached the top all seemed great except for this nagging wind that started from nowhere, but I put on a brave face and said ” scared of heights? NO! not today”, I felt like such a warrior walking on the cliffs, surrounded by people, until the wind picked up even more and all I could see is me toppling over into the great abyss.  With small paths and people right behind us turning around was not an option, that day I was really happy to be wearing sunglasses, to hide my tears as I was crabbing along trying to make the best of it.  It’s extremely beautiful views and an amazing experience, but as soon as we could find a way to cut through the mountain, we took it.  Walking up the mountain it started raining and we were even happier with our decision to just half our experience.  Carl, was joking about the man on the dangerous cliff sign, saying it looked to much like him falling of the mountain, and made  him feel really uneasy.

Howth is a cute little fishing town, filled with fish and chips shops, cute benches to sit at right by the water and seagulls ready to catch any scrap you have.

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^^ Small island, spotted.

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^^ The beginning of the walk.

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^^ Beautiful cliffs and great places to roll right into the ocean.

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^^ Who knows what this sign used to say.

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^^ I love these flowers.

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^^ Pretty smiles.

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^^  Look at the bravery in my face.

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^^ Super windy.

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^^ I spy a little lighthouse.

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^^ Carl shaking his hair in the wind.

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^^ That little guy falling is the spitting image of Carl.

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^^ Land ahoy!

Sometimes when you face your fear, you get to see amazing beauty and that’s exactly what this cliff walk was all about. Maybe next time we will go on a less windy day.

Ticknock Forest, is filled with magic and snow!

Well I didn’t really find any magic at Ticknock forest, but it is the kind of place where you expect elves to run around on some conquest to destroy some evil in this world. I didn’t see any elves, but I did see snow and that was magical enough for me.  Getting to Ticknock was quite a mission, I would definitely suggest that you bully some lovely friends with a car into going with you, otherwise you have to take a bus, cross a highway and walk up an insane road with blind corners everywhere while cars speed by.  I don’t think there is anything worse on the thighs than a never ending road that has a slight incline all the way up, the good part is ; its a great work out and you get to do most of getting to the top of a mountain on tar.  Of course the real rewards is being surrounded by trees all around you, and views of the entire Dublin and if you look close enough you can see the mountains in Belfast.

Being the sillies we are we completely forgot to pack any food and had one small bottle of water.  Yeah, I know! Crazy, but we carried on and walked for hours and hours, just being gently caressed by snow, seeing tiny snowmen all around and dogs excitingly trying to catch the snowflakes.  When we finally walked down the mountain seemed to be angry at our decision to leave and decided to turn the softness of the snowflakes into hard painful hail!  Nothing gives you energy to make it back to the bottom like being pelted in the face with hail!  We rushed home and stuffed our faces with all the food and water we could get.  Magical days come at a cost and I’m still feeling it in my stiff body!

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^^ Spiky trees and soft snow.

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^^ Only leave footprints behind.

DSC_0337new ^^ Covered in snow.

 

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^^ This guy was so happy.

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^^ A little snowman.

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^^ Lost in the beauty of the trees. Or maybe he heard something.

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^^ Snow crazed.

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^^ I’m a tree!

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^^ forest ferns sure are pretty.

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^^ This rock sure was popular.  Not seen, people on the other side just chilling.

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^^ I just loved these wood logs.

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^^ Trails for days.

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^^ Snow on the mountain.

an instant of life captured for eternity

Life lately has been a whirlwind of adventure.  Seriously guys, its been kind of exhausting, but worth it, I’ve been having muscle pains in places I didn’t know muscles could even be at?! Its been all cliff walks, forest hikes and running to catch buses around here.  We actually crossed a highway and trekked up the most insane hill to get to Ticknock forest.  I was completely tired when I got to the parking lot of the hike entrance, but even the walk up was great we got to see the Irish sheep that’s always shown in movies and saw some amazing farms.  One of the things I love about Ireland is, how different every cliff walk or hike can be, even though they are all just a quick train ride apart.  The best part of our trip? We finally got to see snow! We did walk up a mountain to find it, but being hit in the face by soft snowflakes was worth all the trouble.

Adventuring around Dublin is wonderful you get to see so much, and still feel like there is way more to do.   Ireland is filled with so much sunshine, life, happiness, cloudiness, rain, snow and all sorts of wonder.  Being kept on your toes is good for the soul!

I feel like I’ve become a way happier person in the last month, being baptised, going to church, praying, reading scriptures has made me feel refreshed and ready for everything, but all that is for another post!

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^^ This florally golden globe by a bus stop makes waiting for a bus so much better.

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^^ Wall art.  I’m not sure what it means, but it seems to be something about a kingdom of cacti?

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^^ Pretty buildings and a kid looking at me.

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^^ This little fruit and vegetable shop made me really happy.

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^^ It feels a lot like spring.

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^^ Blurry train trip photo, being serenaded by violin.

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^^ I just love these flowers so much.  Just look how yellow they are!

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^^ Have you ever seen such a happy face? That’s what happens when Carl sees snow.

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^^ Fancy Mcdonald’s and a Gargoyle fountain, goes hand in hand, right?

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^^ Sitting around in woods, is good for the soul.

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^^ Just standing on a rock.

 

 

 

 

Oh deer, its Phoenix Park

The other day we decided to get ourselves back to Phoenix Park, this time with some carrots in our bag and a less frightened attitude.  I tend not to trust skittish animals, with fighting weapons on their heads,  but we persevered and had an incredible day.

Phoenix park is an amazing park its incredibly huge and amazing.  Its filled with wonderful things to explore including the Wellington Monument and the popes cross. If you are into monstrous towering things, these two things will make you gasp!  We ended up having a small picnic by the cross,  bringing a packed lunch is so old school, but so worth it, you never know where you will have an impromptu picnic.  With all the walking we do in Dublin we are ravenous almost all the time so we have some kind of treat with us at all times. You never want to be hangry when you have an hour walk back home, your husband will start looking like a monster that’s starving you after a while.

We skipped the first herd of deer, because they looked rather fat with the amount of carrots they’ve been fed and went exploring, Carl decided to try his tracking skills and assured me only one deer passed through the wooded area, while I was pointing towards the 30 deer just relaxing on a rugby field.  These deer seemed to not have had the sweet taste of carrot in a long time and came rushing towards us, while I desperately tried to get a carrot out in time.  Getting surrounded by deer is not fun, but fun all at the same time.  I did learn to get out of a sticky situation with greedy deer is to treat them like dogs and throw carrots like a ball, they go running after it, while you can make a clear run out of there.

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^^ a tiny Carl.

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^^ Dublin has made me extremely dog crazy.  I feel like running after ever dog I see, screaming let me stroke you!

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^^ A lovely stream.

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^^ Carl found this branch and went a little crazy.  This is his Gandalf impression.

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^^ His harry potter impression.

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^^ and this is me trying to lift the branch, it was really heavy.

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^^Woody photos are always amazing.

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^^Carl, the deer training gentleman.

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^^ Dublin is like a disney movie.

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^^ It seems like Carl is slapping the deer with carrot.

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^^ A triangle of deer.

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^^ Trying to leave unnoticed.  It didn’t work.

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^^ When you have a bag of carrots in your hands all eyes will be on you.

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^^ Towering Cross.  We sat at the top of the stairs had a little prayer and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

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^^ Two birds just chilling at the top.

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^^The view.

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

A common question we get asked in Dublin is ” why Dublin?!” Like Ireland is the worst place in the world to be.  Mostly people are really horrified by the weather and say “you will get over it in a couple of months”, but for me the weather is absolutely perfect, the clearest blue skies with a crispness in the air that just can’t be beaten , the ever changing weather all in one day, its a whirlwind that I love, the beautiful grey days, and the slightest amounts of rain that’s great for walking in, to me its the best place ever! Sometimes you just have to get lost in the beauty of the little things, if you start looking around you will find tiny blessing all around, and to me, here in Dublin you don’t have to look really hard.

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^^ The detail on this church just blows me away and makes me slightly giddy.

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^^ Walks home, with skies like these and cute little houses.

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^^ Daffodils making things feel a lot like spring.

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^^ The clouds, the sky, this church.  Walking around is pure bliss.

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^^ The coolest music shop ever.

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^^ Street art never looked so good.

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^^ this building is pretty amazing.

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^^ I think this is a pub? I don’t drink, but this building is off the chain!

Did you find any tiny blessing this weekend?

Build castles in the air

a day spend in Dalkey in the south of Dublin, is like building castle in the air, but daydreaming and reality go hand in hand in this little seaside town, with 7 castles all around and only one you can go into.  A little place where a school, old age home and a building completely locked are all castles, making you wonder ” what wonderland did I just stumble across?” or ” what nightmare is this?, why can’t I go into them?”  Dalkey, is a wonderful little town with panoramic sea views everywhere you look, and but just when you think this is so magical,  you see a man walking around in a nude coloured thong, making all the magic disappear in a record speed, but if you really want to get a good view of all the strange thong men, then the best view in town is definitely at the James Joyce tower, its free and you get to see everything James Joyce.  He seemed liked a typical troubled artist, seeing panthers and just being a horrible house guest, but all the best characters are a little bit strange.

Strolling around this little seaside town so close to Dublin, makes you feel like you’re in the cheesiest rom com in the whole world, but its worth it.

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^^ Really blue water and perfectly clean pathways that makes me want to start up running again, but then I come to my senses and just say no.

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^^ Those rocks look really slippery.

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^^ Always smiling and happy.

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^^ South African soil in Ireland.

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^^ A great place to splash around.

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^^ Pondering.

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^^ So macabre, this is one of the two moulds taken from James Joyce’s face when he died.

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^^ Inside the tower.

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^^ Narrow staircases and happy husbands.

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^^ Carl’s hair started swaying like the flag.

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^^ Kicking imaginary footballs.

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^^ Made it to the top swing.

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^^ Male bathing area.

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^^ Holding on for dear life and posing.  Like you do.

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^^ Casual.

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^^ James Joyce tower from the strand.

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^^ Castles everywhere.

Happy weekend everybody! Do you have any weekend plans?