A weekend in the windy city {Dublin}

I know, I know, okay? When people refer to the ‘windy city’, they mean Chicago. But when we visited Dublin last month, Ireland’s capital made a very serious case for claiming the title. It also drizzled very lightly the entire time. It is not an exaggeration to say that even when it was sunny it was drizzling. But despite the adverse weather conditions and the almost knife fight which we witnessed outside a pub (I wish I was joking) we had a lovely time.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the north of Ireland – it’s where my mum is from – but very little in the South (the Republic). But one thing that all of Ireland has in common is that it feels its history very keenly. I think this probably has to do with the fact the violent events which have defined the country’s history are not long over. And sometimes the odd headline reminds you that those issues are not entirely laid to rest. So you cannot visit Dublin and avoid the Easter Rising of 1916 and the subsequent fight for independence from Britain. Photographs of the revolutionary leaders adorn pub walls; songs tell old stories of national pride. The bullet holes from 1916 still pepper the walls of the General Post Office.

Here are a collection of photographs from the city – I hope you’ll enjoy flicking through. Oh, and if you need a soundtrack, the first picture is of folk heroine Molly Malone, her statue stands in Grafton Street.  Here is The Dubliner’s version of the wonderful song about her.

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Molly Malone, Grafton Street

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The Guinness Factory

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General Post Office, O’Connell Street

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Pint of Guinness

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The Old City

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Temple Bar

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Light bulb moment

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Cream bicycle on cobbles

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The River Liffey

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Irish election poster

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Deli

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O’Neill’s

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Dublin Castle

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Ocean currents

© Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2016.

Daytrippers: Whitstable

Sometimes, you just have to get out of London.  So on a clear, crisp October day we got on a train from St Pancras to Whitstable, a small fishing town on the north coast of Kent, and spent a lovely day wandering the crooked streets and crunching along the pebbled beach.  It’s the ideal seaside town for window shopping, with endless tiny shops filled with beautiful things, and we were incredibly lucky with the weather – sunny enough to enjoy a pint (of Diet Coke, in my case) on the shingle outside the only pub on a beach I have ever come across.

It may have been cold enough for me to regret saying yes to ice in my plastic pint glass, but there’s something lovely about being bundled up warm in coats and scarves, looking out at the white horses and listening to the pebbles skittering along the shore with each wave that turns. We finished the day with fish and chips from a painted hut on the shore, followed by hot doughnuts out of a paper bag, complete with sticky fingers and sugary cheeks courtesy of the chaotic sea breezes. So here are some pictures from our day at the seaside – I hope you enjoy them.

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Listening to Sax by Fleur East, Sister Rosetta goes before us by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift.

All words and photographs are © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

The Friday Frame {16} Blooms Ahead

The clue is in the bicycle’s cargo: ‘kwiaty’ is Polish for ‘flowers’, presumably 50 metres further on. This bicycle was on a backstreet in Poznan; we discovered it during a very early morning wander: we were up at 6am in an effort to avoid the heat of the day. It’s such a beautiful signpost, how could I not take a photograph?

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All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

The Friday Frame {14} Jeté

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This sculpture is on Millbank, beside the river, and I took this photograph on what felt like one of the first days of a blue-skied spring. It seemed to match the vitality of the chilly breeze and clean, bright skies. Entitled ‘Jeté’, it was created in 1975 by Enzo Plazzotta, and is modelled on the dancer David Wall. I love the unique combination of grace and power which male ballerinas seem to capture so perfectly, and the way that this sculpture manages to show a sense of movement so exquisitely.

Listening to: The Want of a Nail by Todd Rundgren, Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox, Trouble by Ray LaMontagne, Piano by Ariana Grande.

(Adding current favourite songs to the end of each blog post is something I saw years ago on this lady’s blog, and it’s something I’d like to have a record of to look back on, so I think I’ll try to remember to keep doing it. You can also take them as a music recommendations if you like, although my taste is varied and I’m sure somewhat questionable at times!)

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

The Friday Frame {13} From the ground, up.

The understated grandeur of the painted fronts of Poznan townhouses almost made the unbearable 35 degrees centigrade heat worth it. When we told people we were going to Poland in July, most people suggested it might be a little chilly: we took coats. They were so incredibly wrong (and we were, evidently, so incredibly gullible for taking their word for it!) Of the four cities we visited, Poznan was the hottest — after the first day we took to going out at around 6.30am to fit in sightseeing before the hottest rays hit. By around 10am it would be searingly hot, sending us fleeing back to the hostel to lie around in very little, trying desperately to cool down and resolving to return to Poland only in the dead of winter. Beautiful buildings though.

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Townhouses in Poznan, Poland, Summer 2014.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

The Friday Frame {12} Up the Wall

A mural on a backstreet in Warsaw. There’s just something about this that I love; it’s on the one hand very realistic, on the other strangely surreal. It’s also just amazing to create art on this scale, and in this environment —  I couldn’t help stopping for a few moments to gaze in wonder every time we walked past.

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Street art in Warsaw, Poland. Summer 2014.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

The Friday Frame(s) {8} Windswept Shores

This week I just couldn’t limit myself to one photograph. If that’s the kind of thing that bothers you, then sorry (not sorry). These three photographs are of Ballintoy Harbour, on the North Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. Believe it or not, I took them in August – you’ve got to love holidaying in Britain. Even on such a stormy, grey day, this is the kind of place which makes me want to forget all about living in a city, and move to the coast with its uninterrupted expanses and it’s clean, cold air. This is the British seaside proper i.e. best enjoyed in three layers, thermal underwear and with a steaming flask of tea.

Oh, and for any Game of Thrones fans, this was one of the Northern Irish locations featured in the early seasons; it was used as the setting for Pyke, one of The Iron Islands.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2014.

The Friday Frame {6} Tramlines

The trams in Krakow, Poland, are just like the rest of the city they zig-zag through. They manage to beautifully combine the charm of a bygone era with the efficiency of the modern age, and they are irresistible to anybody with a camera. Wins all round.

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A tram winds its way through the streets of Krakow in Poland, Summer 2014.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2014.