Ireland day 0072. Thursday 09 December 2021- Robswall
|Today’s summary||Relatively quiet day. Video calls with two friends then a nice circular walk with Val round Robswall suburb of Malahide. Val to work in evening|
|Today’s weather||Dry and bright but no sun and only light wind. A few showers around but most missed us. A bit warmer at about 9C|
|Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
(Click button below to download a GPX of this afternoon’s walk around Robswall):
I’ve decided to back off history for a bit, as I think there is only so much your brain can accommodate at one time. And although there’s still a lot (probably an infinity) still to learn about Ireland and its past, I think I am slowly beginning to get the main milestones into my head by now. So today was a more modest affair than of late, partly because we wanted to give the exploration and historical investigations a bit of a break, but also because Val had work this evening so we needed to be back in the flat by mid afternoon to give her time to get ready.
I started the day with a couple of video calls to friends, which I always enjoy very much. When you are living away as we are, you have to make a big effort to keep up with you old companions because you can’t just spontaneously arrange to meet, and you need to maintain a shared history of friendship lest you become forgotten in your absence. I’m glad to say that this didn’t seem to be happening today. It was reassuring to see that my friends were still managing to carry on as (relatively) normal despite the various challenges posed by the latest twists and turns in the Covid saga.
Once social duties were discharged, Val and I thought we would head out on one of our favourite walks – out on the promenade to Portmarnock then back on what I call the Lithostrotion beach. So we set out on the Coast Road to make our way in a south westerly direction towards Portmarnock. By the way, the Irish Gaelic name for “Coast Road” is “Bóthar na chósta“. You might have heard the Irish word “Boreen” and be wondering what the difference between a Bóthar and a Boreen is. Well, opinions differ but according to one of my historian friends in the walking club, who seems to know about these things, a Bóthar is a track or road that is wide enough for two horses side by side, whereas a Boreen is only wide enough for one. Well it sounds plausible to me and is undoubtedly a good answer for a pub quiz.
As we were nearing Portmarnock we noticed that there was a large open green space on the right hand side. We had walked past it many times but usually, as it was either dark or we were struggling into the teeth of a gale, we just assumed it was a farmers field and paid it no further attention. But today we realised that actually the grass was well manicured, and there was a series of paths criss-crossing it which just invited further exploration.
So we crossed the road and set about investigating this new found land. It turned out, from a bit of googling, that we were actually in Robswall public park, only recently opened (I think it may have been created at the same time as construction of the massive new adjacent Robswall housing estate was begun). It’s a nice simple park – just grass and well maintained paths, and a hill in the middle with expansive views in pretty much every direction. You can see the Great Sugarloaf but the Dublin mountains were shrouded in cloud today, so we couldn’t tell if they were still snow-covered or not.
But the best bit was near the exit from the park where there is a pop up coffee van which served an excellent cup of coffee and a mean almond croissant. Expensive, I know but hey you only live once (though probably also a lot shorter if you eat too many of their croissants).
We left the park and headed round the back of the Robswall estate (I have no idea how it got its slightly unusual name, by the way) and through the back roads to Malahide. We had to make a quick diversion to SuperValu to pick up some boiled beetroot (antidote to the croissant) then back to the flat for lunch and Val skedaddled off to work.
So now I’ve got an evening free and I’m going to have another go at “Walking across Ireland – from Dublin Bay to Galway Bay” by Michael Fewer. It’s an interesting read but a bit turgid in parts and I’m having some difficulty following on my map exactly where he went. Nevertheless, I admire his persistence as the going clearly wasn’t easy, but so far I’m not really tempted to try and follow in his footsteps. Well not yet, anyway.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)