Friday, June 10, 2016

The summit kept its promise

We found where the rocks connect the ocean to the sky. And it is misty.
Seven of us took the train Wednesday to Howth, a port town on the edge of a peninsula northeast of Dublin. There, we walked through the main street of the city, past the east pier and around the bend to walk along the coastal road up the side of cliff that borders the sea.

(from left) Natalie, Rosemary, Mary, Shannon, Mike and Jason at the start of our hike around Howth.
We followed the road, beyond the cliff-side cottages and stately manors and past the Balscadden House where W.B. Yeats lived from 1880-1883. The plaque quotes Yeats: “I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

Our hardy band taking a moment with Yeats.
So we continued to tread softly past Devil’s Rock, where the legend says St. Nessan threw Satan from the cliff. The Devil fell so hard he crashed through the rocks below and back to hell, leaving an imprint of his body.
This actually isn't Devil's Rock, but I didn't have a good picture of that. So you get a picture of this one instead.

We followed the trail past wild roses, thorn bushes, tar-black slugs and tourists. We hiked into a cloud, leaving our hair sopping and shiny. We could brush away the air in front of our faces. And with each meter we climbed, we got hungrier.

Rosemary and Natalie on the cliff's trail.
Still, we kept going up –  so seemingly far from civilization that all we could hear were the gulls and waves. Then the trail led us to a rock staircase so long and so steep that our legs burned.
Jason and Mike contemplate life's mysteries as they look out into the mist from the edge of the world.

And finally, when we couldn’t rise any higher, there was a pub. 

Group selfie from a cliff's edge. Yes, that green behind us is straight down.
Signs of the Day (tie)

On the trail: 
This makes not for what the sign says, but for what it has become. Sticker art? I'm not sure, actually.
At the Summit Pub: 

I can't remember if I've seen this at a European pub/restaurant before or not, but Jason spotted it, and we all laughed.

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