22.06.2010 - 22.06.2010
Nearly a week has passed since my return to Brighton and this entry will complete my Ireland voyage. This means you have more England to look forward to until Scotland in mid-July.
Tuesday was my last day. To start with, my supervisor R. connected me with a woman (C-A) who works at a LGBT youth organization in downtown Dublin. She also happened to be this really nice LGBT activist lady with eccentric glasses and an Irish drawl. We had coffee in Temple Bar and she was so refreshing to speak to! Until a few months ago she had been a social work prof at Ryerson and only recently returned to Dublin. Moving seamlessly from domestic and foreign policies in Ireland and Canada we chatted about LGBT rights in Ireland, trans rights particularly, immigration and xenophobia in the EU, the rise of the BNP/fascism in Britain, the G8/G20 (and lake), etc. It was so good to be able to engage in those critical conversations so openly! I felt connected again and excited. I guess I didn't realize how much I had missed those interactions/conversations.
Riding high on the conversation and caffeine I headed out to Howth (rhymes with 'both' or alternatively 'bot' depending on who you speak to) which is another suburb of Dublin. Whereas Dalkey was south, Howth is north-east of the city centre. I took the DART again and found myself in a thriving little fishing town with a huge harbour. As I was wandering along the pier I heard a lot of "ohhhhs." Naturally i went to see what the commotion was about. Below me, in the harbour waters were about eight seals hanging out around the boats and begging for fish. I mean, who doesn't theoretically like seals? Maybe fish and penguins. And they are a novelty for me since there are no harbour seals in Lake Ontario. But when you stop to watch them you see that they hover hungrily with beady little eyes staring up at you and you kind of feel like they are big (6 ft + ) swimming rats. I mean, I'm not sure this picture is really a testament to this but take my word for it:
People who don't know raccoons think they are cute too.
As I left the harbour area I took this picture of the Ireland's Eye (Island) and the calm waters:
There is a cliff path that circles Howth Head and takes about four hours to complete and traverses the "wilder parts" of the peninsula. Sadly, I didn't have four hours but I did make it around half of it and it was really spectacular:
You aren't allowed to walk along this path in bad weather because you can get easily swept away into the oblivion below:
For a brief moment on the cliff top I fantasized that A. and I would runaway to Ireland and live on the edge of the cliff, catching lobsters and sailing boats. It didn't matter that I don't know how to do either of those activities or that I'm a city kid at heart. It was such serenity and such splendor:
Sadly, time slips by and my flight out was at 7:15 pm. I took a bus straight from Howth to the airport and was back in Brighton in three hours!