Ireland day 1012. Saturday 06 July 2024- Croke Park GAA

Ireland day 1012. Saturday 06 July 2024- Croke Park GAA
Today’s summary Went into Dublin to go to the Croke Park stadium. Watched the Kilkenny vs Dublin women’s all Ireland camogie quarter final and Kilkenny vs Clare in the men’s hurling semi final. Sadly Kilkenny lost both but we really enjoyed the day out. Croke Park was absolutely freezing cold – down jackets an absolute necessity!
Today’s weather Bright and breezy after overnight rain and occasional showers in the afternoon, with some sun. Moderate westerly wind. Appx 16c but feeling much colder in the wind and shade in the stadium
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Croke Park to Connolly

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

We’ve lived in Ireland for almost three years now and, up to today, never been to a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) sports match. As GAA is synonymous with Irish identity, this was a significant gap in our Irish education.

So we decided to rectify this omission today, and go to Croke Park – the GAA main stadium – to watch a couple of matches. On the agenda this afternoon was Kilkenny vs Dublin women’s All-Ireland camogie quarter-final and Kilkenny vs Clare men’s hurling semi. There was of course some partisan interest as Val’s grandmother came from Kilkenny.

Our first challenge was to work out actually how to get to Croke Park. After a bit of googling it turned out that the no 42 bus would take us practically door to door in just 40 minutes. In fact the lengthiest part of the journey was finding how actually get into the stadium once we got off the bus. Eventually, after having walked round the entire perimeter of the stadium, we found the Cusack stadium and entrance D.

Our seats were right up at the top of the stadium – in stairway 707 row Y. Quite vertiginous but an excellent view. The matches themselves were really interesting- even though I didn’t really know what was happening. It’s an extremely fast and exciting game and the ball moves from one end of the gigantic pitch (twice as big as a soccer pitch) with astonishing speed. (By the way, camogie is just the women’s version of hurling and as far as I can tell, the rules are exactly the same).

In the end, Kilkenny lost both of the matches which was a bit sad – but there’s always next year. The only fly in the ointment today was the temperature in the stadium – it was absolutely freezing. We had fortunately taken down jackets but it was still cold. Endless cups of tea and cheesy chips were required to keep warm. And this is July! I dread to think what it must be like in February.

After the match, we walked about 20 minutes to Connolly and got a quick train back to Malahide. We were back in the flat by 6pm, just as Nicki Minaj was warming up to provide tonight’s entertainment from the castle. A really memorable day, all round.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

On the no 42 into town, with a great view of the Dublin mountains through the windscreen in the distance On our way in to the Croke Park stadium – despite being massive, it took us ages to find the right entrance
Cheesy chips and bacon.   Mmmm. From our commanding height, we had a great view of the pitch – and fortunately Val took her binoculars too.
Kilkenny men (yellow and black) in full swing Heading for home and a bit of sun to warm up!
Up in the lap of the gods.   You practically needed breathing equipment up here!   (It did fill up a quite a lot later on – the stadium capacity is about 85,000 and 36,000 were there today)
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 2070 m
Max elevation: 9 m
Min elevation: 2 m
Total climbing: 12 m
Total descent: -13 m
Total time: 00:30:43
Download file: Croke-Park-to-Connolly-compressed-corrected.gpx

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