Tuesday 23 January 2018

Dublin Bay: World class views "for less than the price of a pint" - New York Times

Another day, another rave review.

Bailey Lighthouse, Howth Head, Dublin. New York Times columnist Ratha Tep is writing from the city.
Bailey Lighthouse, Howth Head, Dublin. New York Times columnist Ratha Tep is writing from the city.
Sandycove, with James Joyce Tower Museum, Co. Dublin. A New York Times columnist is on tour.

Pol Ó Conghaile

Staggering sea cliffs and excellent seafood and beer are all accessible on public transport from Dublin, writes columnist Ratha Tep.

Last week, The New York Times compared Dublin to a Christmas card.

Now, it has struck out from the capital in a second 'Frugal Traveler' column, introducing some 1.8 million readers to highlights accessible by public transport.

"For its vertical limestone cliffs and unspoiled sea views, Ireland’s dramatic western coastline may get top billing," writes Ratha Tep. "But visitors to Dublin hoping to catch a glimpse of the rugged beauty of the Emerald Isle needn’t spend extra hours and expense traveling west."

For "little more than the cost of a pint", she says, visitors can whisk themselves by DART to "staggeringly scenic sea cliffs" and "excellent seafood and beer".

SANDYCOVE, Dublin.jpg
Sandycove, with James Joyce Tower Museum, Co. Dublin. A New York Times columnist is on tour.

Tep stops off in Sandycove (above), takes the cliff walk from Bray to Greystones, and finishes up with "one of the most beautiful views in the world" on Howth Head.

The column is the latest in an unprecedented series of endorsements for Dublin and its surrounds by the New York Times, providing the kind of publicity Tourism Ireland can only dream about.

Last week, Tep wrote about Christmas in Dublin.

Shortly before that, the paper featured Dublin in its '36 Hours' column, including a polished video bringing the festive city alive for its readers:


The latest travelogue kicks off in Sandycove.

There, Tep dips a toe in the Forty Foot and chats to a priest before visiting the recently renovated James Joyce Tower and Museum - with inevitable references to the "snotgreen sea" so famously depicted in the opening chapter of Ulysses.

The waters of Dublin Bay are "meditative, mystical and potent," she says.

From there, she ventures to  the "calming and restoring" beachfront of Bray, dipping into Platform Pizza, the Porterhouse and the Harbour Bar ("a warren of cosy rooms brimming with bric-a-brac") before following the cliff walk to Greystones.

"Out there, I found colours so sharp and vivid, it was as if they had been passed through a saturation filter," she writes.

Her travels end in Howth, where the Irish Sea "feels less cosseted, and more raw." A brisk Howth Head Walk winds "dizzyingly close" to the cliff edges, before reaching the summit, where Tep evokes H.G. Wells's description of "one of the most beautiful views in the world."

You can read the full piece here.

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