After settling in these first few weeks it was time to explore Dublin and the surrounding area. First stop was the village of Malahide, which is just across a narrow estuary and very visible from the Island Golf Club. I walked around there all day, visiting the cricket pitches and Malahide Castle. Malahide Castle was built in the 12th century by the Talbots, an English family who had arrived in England during the Norman invasion with William the Conqueror.
Mowing the cricket pitches in Malahide.
Malahide is also home to Gibney's Pub, a favorite watering hole of TurfNet members during several of the TurfNet trips to Ireland. Jon Kiger and I enjoyed a Guinness or two there on my first day here in Ireland.
I also visited the town of Swords, just west of Malahide in County Fingal, which dates to the 6th century. Swords Castle was built in the 1200's (there are a lot of castles in Ireland). I spent all day there just exploring and seeing what the town had to offer.
Last on my touring over the past several weeks was the village of Howth, located on the peninsula of Howth Head which separates Dublin Bay from the Irish Sea. Howth has to be one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Ireland so far. Howth Castle is a private home rather than a museum or a hotel, and has been in the same family for over 800 years. Howth has two golf courses and amazing trips out to the Irelands Eye island. There is also a mountain you can climb for some amazing views of the surrounding area.
Ireland's Eye (above and below)
It was kind of a gloomy day when I went there but it was still unbelievable. Howth is clearly my favorite place to have visited so far, but I have been told there are places in Ireland that beat it.
I also was able to make it to Dublin City over the past three weeks and one of the most memorable adventures down there was to see singer Sean Keane. Sean is an Irish born singer from Galway; he sings traditional Irish, folk, and country songs. The London Independent calls him the greatest musical find of the 90s. It was amazing to see him sing and play all of his traditional Irish instruments and to hear his unique voice. He plays every Tuesday night at the Hampton Hotel in Dublin.
The Sean Keane band (above) and me with Sean (below).