The other day we went to Howth. That’s pronounced “Hoath,” by the way, but for the sake of the pun I’m going to continue mispronouncing it. I’m sorry, I’m a slave to novelty.
The day began by finding the wrong train station.
The scenery on the way there reminded me a lot of Boston, for some reason.
When we finally arrived at the (incorrect) station, we were greeted by the living amalgamation of all quirky train conductor tropes. Sadly, I did not get a picture of him, because that would have been strange.
After he jovially dispensed train tickets and wise anecdotes, we found our track and boarded the train. Remember how I said we found the wrong station? Yeah, it really wasn’t a big deal. I’m very sorry for failing to deliver on the incredible suspense I built up.
After our complete and utter lack of trouble with the train, we arrived in Howth to find a delightful little farmers’ market. I’m sure it was full of all kinds of treats, but none of that mattered because I found fudge.
The fudge in question was made by the Man of Aran, otherwise known as Tomás Póil. He’s been making fudge for decades, and it shows. I love the stuff far more than can possibly be sustainable for my wallet or belt, and yet I honestly can’t remember ever having better fudge. He is also one of the most delightful men I have yet encountered.
Rain makes me crave chocolate, so that’s what I got. People say the rain-chocolate connection is strange, but I think there’s an almost poetic relation between them. Chocolate is a good pick-me-up on a grey day; it’s a nice reminder that there’s still some good in this world. It’s like an edible hug. So, whether it’s due to some subconscious need to be consoled, or a long-forgotten childhood experience, or something completely different, rain and literally everything else make me crave chocolate.
Also, it’s chocolate. I could be fleeing from ten thousand angry bees and still crave its charms.
After the fudge, we strolled along the sidewalk, honestly not sure where we were supposed to go. We did, however, stumble upon these:
No exaggeration: when I saw these, I did a double-take. It was like Dorothy leaving behind the sepia tones of her native Kansas and stepping into the colorful wonderland of Oz. On a cloudy day near Dublin, sometimes you forget that color exists outside of a Crayola box.
Passing the flowers, we entered the thriving metropolis of Howth.
Even on a dreary day, Howth is one gorgeous town. The seafront park and the pleasant buildings are magnificent despite the clouds. The interiors are similarly appealing, especially considering the amount of time we spent in them sheltering from the wind.
Ah, yes, the wind.
Howth may be famous for its scenic trails and picturesque port, but the intense wind is what makes the biggest impression. The gusts are unbelievably strong.
Before venturing farther into the unknown, we stopped at a park by the harbor proper. Towards the center of the park is what looks like a sundial without a gnomon.
We soon realized, however, that this apparent sundial has exactly the same level of functionality with or without a gnomon. You see, its makers placed it in a land without sun.
Wow, how many weather-related jokes can I crack at Ireland’s expense? If you’re getting tired of them, sorry to rain on your parade, but they’re probably not going to stop – I’m becoming increasingly convinced 50 Shades of Grey was named after the colors of the Dublin sky.
I am merciful, however. I’ll give you some time to recuperate between now and Part Two… which I’ll write as soon as I can get my head out of the clou-
Brillo, give me back my phone!