Mountains Out Of Molehills – A Year Of Ireland Part Two

Our fourth day in Ireland was spent in the small seaside town of Bray, a delightful little trip that I covered in more detail here, here, and… oh, what do you know? That was another storyline I never finished. Huh. Well, after staying tuned for Part Three of the retrospective, stay tuned for Part Three of A Day In Bray. My longtime readers will have gotten pretty damn good at staying tuned by this point.

Moving on from my incredible inadequacies, we spent our fourth day in Bray. For those who haven’t read A Day In Bray and have no intention of giving me the pageviews, Bray is an adorable little seaside town a short train ride outside of Dublin. It’s known for its seafood, beach, and Bray Head, which is still not a mountain but is a phenomenal day hike.

Brillo was crazy stoked to begin another day of adventures.

. "Yippee..."

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“Yippee…”

The train station was in the classic There Should Really Be More Smog And Young Chimney Sweeps In Here style.

Seriously lacking in the roguish charm only found among a ragtag gang of ten-year-old pickpockets.

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Seriously lacking in the roguish charm only found among a ragtag gang of ten-year-old pickpockets.

The faces on this Coke machine creep me out to this day.

This image was all over the goddamn city, too.

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This was like the one Coke advert the company shipped to Ireland. It was everywhere.

The train ride supposedly has one of the most dramatic views in the world, and is known as Brunel’s Folly because it was hard to build and even worse to maintain. On one side is a sheer cliff face, on the other is the Irish Sea. The man who designed this scenic monstrosity is an equally intriguing man named Isambard Kingdom Brunel. First off, that is hands down our favorite name in the historical record. Secondly, in the 2002 BBC special feature 100 Greatest Britons, Brunel ranked #2. Save Winnie Churchill, he beat out literally every single person in history ever to have anything to do with Britain – even non-British notables were eligible for the feature. Princess Diana, Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Margaret Thatcher – none of them stood up to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s towering dominance over the British historical landscape. Or it could have just been students from Brunel University, who rabidly campaigned for their school’s namesake.

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He was beating even Churchill until the last few days of polling.

Brillo found the train ride slightly less interesting than I did.

"Bo-ring."

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“Bo-ring.”

"Sigh."

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“Sigh.”

"Try pointing me towards the window, dingus."

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“Try pointing me towards the window, dingus.”

We arrived at the seaside village of Bray, population: rain.

. And site of the 1066 Battle of I Can't See Anything in this Bloody Fog.

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And site of the 1066 Battle of I Can’t See Anything in this Bloody Fog.

Bray was once a resort town, easily accessed from Dublin by one of the oldest train routes on Earth. Once plane travel simplified access to the continent, however, Bray gradually fell out of favor. It’s still one of the larger towns in Ireland, but its golden days are done.

It is, however, known for Bray Head, which features several hiking trails, the last and most treacherous leg of Brunel’s Folly, and a cross at the summit. It’s also suspended in the clouds by the delusions of the townspeople who still think it’s a mountain.

IMG_2455

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The Irish Alp.

We were told this is Sinéad O’Connor‘s house. It’s probably not.

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Those rainbow bricks make slightly less of a statement than she tends to.

We started the climb to the summit.

IMG_2464Looking back at Bray:

IMG_2466Part of that famous train line:

On top of the terrifying cost of maintaining the line, the area is also prone to rock slides and fog as dense as the minds who thought any of this was a good idea.

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On top of the terrifying cost of maintaining the line, the area is also prone to rock slides and fog as dense as the minds who thought any of this was a good idea.

Here’s Brillo demonstrating the relative size of a fence post:

Bray Head, like much of Ireland, experiences more cloud coverage than most clouds.

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It almost gives it the illusion that it’s a mountain, an aspiration it knows it can never hope to achieve.

We had hiked a good way on this gorgeous trail before realizing we’d taken a wrong turn towards the next town over. The summit would have to wait.

Probably for the best.

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Probably for the best.

After a gorgeous walk with unparalleled views of the water, some rocks, and good god that train line who thought that would work, we turned round and headed back to town for dinner.

Hide in the bushes all you want. You're not fooling anyone.

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Hide in the bushes all you want. You’re not fooling anyone.

Even in the mist, Bray is a gorgeous little community.

IMG_2505Of course the clouds cleared right after we left Bray Head.

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That night we had dinner at a local hotel. I’ve never seen so many different colors of mystery juice.

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Brillo got dessert.

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“I liked pavlova way before I signed on with this two-bit gig.”

And that’s all for now. See you in Part Three.

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29 responses to “Mountains Out Of Molehills – A Year Of Ireland Part Two

  1. You call that a fence post? And by the way, that is totally Sinead’s house, I just know it. And thanks for turning me off Coca-Cola forever, that’s probably a good thing for my health.

    Why is Art milking Highlanders? That sounds so, well, gay.

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