One of the things I love most about moving to a new place is discovering cool day trips in the area, things you didn’t even realize were there, and all right under your nose!
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to find just one of those places – the town of Howth (pronounced Hothe, like “home”), jutting off on its own peninsula just north of Dublin proper. You’ll see on the map below, Drogheda is on the northern part of the coast shown, and Dublin is just past the halfway mark. Howth is just above it. This also may give you a better idea of where I live!
Anyway, ironically enough, I discovered this place through a visit from an old friend – one of my former film volunteers at Heartland! Her name is Marianne Sahm and she is currently on a bus tour through Ireland with her parish, St. Jude’s of Indianapolis. Marianne contacted me a while back to let me know she’d be in the area, and we were happily able to meet up last night, with her group, at a great traditional pub in Howth. She was also kind enough to ask what I might like her to bring from the States – and I’m proud to say I now have a lifetime supply of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
But before I met up with Marianne and her group, I had a chance to explore the town and I must admit, I fell in love with it. Perhaps it was the day itself – after working the lunch rush at the Salt House, I came home, dressed up, and caught the train south. It was beautiful and sunny, a perfect day for a train ride with the lapping waves of the sea out one window and rolling green hills out the other. It’s been a while since I had a few hours to kick back, and I enjoyed every second.
When I got off the train at Howth, I was immediately taken. The peninsula is rugged and rocky, though not as much as the Western part of the country, but a majestic change of scene from our sandy beaches anyway. It’s a major fishing area, so there were ships and boats of every shape and size, rusty, well-used vessels, loaded down with tackle and close-mouthed men who communicated through winks and grunts. I walked down the pier past a dozen fish restaurants and fish suppliers. I even got to see two sea lions, swimming around the ships waiting for any unwanted fish to drop into their mouths! I haven’t seen sea lions in the wild since I was in Oregon in 1994!
I walked to the end of the pier and sat on the rocks, watching people fish with long, strong rods, and then I followed the manicured footpaths and lawns of the promenade into town. I passed the ancient ruins of an Abbey built in the 12th century, and I delighted in how neatly it fit into the green folds of the hillside. Many colorful homes and hotels nestled themselves against the terrain as well. I can’t imagine what the rent costs out there, but one day, if we can afford it, I’d love to take up residence in the cheery, quiet town of Howth.
Hope you enjoy the following pictures, taken on my phone!