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.

20160221_112315

Molly Malone, Grafton Street

20160220_173756

The Guinness Factory

20160221_130906

General Post Office, O’Connell Street

20160221_155733

Pint of Guinness

20160221_163648

The Old City

20160221_155420

Temple Bar

20160221_164735

Light bulb moment

20160221_155411

Cream bicycle on cobbles

20160221_155152

The River Liffey

20160221_165151

Irish election poster

20160221_165520

Deli

20160221_172018

O’Neill’s

20160221_170215

Dublin Castle

20160221_163612.jpg

Ocean currents

© Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2016.

Wanderlust {Warsaw}: painting in the street

While I was in Warsaw I took a lot of pictures of walls, and a few of the ground. Luckily I wasn’t just going mad — the walls and the floor were more interesting than they are in most places. That’s the round about way of saying that there was a lot of street art around and about, and here are some photographs of it. Enjoy!

12015491_1023787181005569_11059279_o

We saw this as we arrived, and it warmed my heart 🙂

12112874_1032728740111413_32240310_o

Red balloon

10522455_774916352559321_2071377254_o (1)

Why is the sky dark at night?

12059323_1027702400614047_704293656_o

A bit of a scarier one

10516371_774916092559347_682142401_o (1)

Lady in pink

10526502_778187172232239_1981647504_o

Blue bird, umbrellas

10519137_774915785892711_659373043_o (1)

Godzilla?

10512300_774915269226096_1855128919_o (1)

Warsaw, what you’ve done to me

10502267_774914925892797_668101486_o (1)

Yes, Beyonce

All images © 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?

10522112_778194682231488_1454543480_o

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.

10516364_780826321968324_558339060_o

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.

10471425_778186578898965_1485099480_o (1)

Street art in Warsaw, Poland. Summer 2014.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

The Friday Frame {11} Reflecting

Well, this one really speaks for itself. But who am I to let a photograph do that when there’s a ready- made rambling opportunity? Onward… The breathtaking Loch Achray on a cold and clear morning in early January. We were in The Trossachs for four days over New Year. For the first three days, this mountain, and indeed the loch itself, were for the most part impossible to make out amid the slanting rain (/hail/blizzards) and low, steel grey cloud. But then, on our last morning — as if Scotland couldn’t quite let us leave again for distant London without reminding us of how perfect it can be — the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and the loch and the mountain were finally revealed. Worth the wait.

10912621_877357888981833_1254087042_o

Loch Achray

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.

Weeding in the Dodecanese

The street is winding, and cobbled. Next to each of its doors there is an eccentrically decorated post box. Some of the boxes display huge initials, casually daubed onto the surfaces in thick white paint among flowers and swirls in chalky pastel. Others, the more disappointing, bear only a faded business card with greying letters, which spell out the names against yellowing white. Vespas lean against stone walls and dilapidated wooden gates, some covered in cobwebs and seemingly forgotten, others occasionally whizzing past at breakneck speed. Cartoons and adverts accompany delicate paper flowers and gold- rimmed iconography on walls, door frames, windowsills: Mickey Mouse and the Virgin Mary share wall space here, divided only by lines of faded masking tape.

A door opens, and an elderly lady potters onto the cobbles, walking stick in weather- beaten hand. Her face is as brown and crumpled as an endlessly re-used paper bag, but her eyes are black and beady beneath the gentle creases. Despite the heat, she is clad resolutely in thick brown stockings, and a heavy dress reaches almost to her stout black shoes. I am standing at the stone archway where this side street joins a slightly wider avenue, and she doesn’t look up at me, but instead begins a solemn procession down the passage, her head down, her back slightly stooped. Every so often, she pauses and jabs violently at something with her stick- a mound of dog dirt, a tin can, a poster screwed into a ball- before carrying on.

When she reaches the point where the passage winds away to the left, she turns back. I make a concerted effort to consult the map which had in any case brought me here accidentally, embarrassed that I have been staring at her progress so intently. She doesn’t seem to notice me, but moves a little further along the passage and looks down, at the tiny flowers which are sprouting where the cobbles meet the stone wall under her own window. She prods at the clusters of purple with her stick, surveying the situation. Tutting, she leans the stick against the sill and squats. The sudden, deft movement belies her doddering, and after a few moments of insistent tugging there is a scattering of uprooted shoots at her side. She picks them up, shaking the soil from the displaced spindles and letting it fall onto the uneven cobbles. As she stands, I hear the creak and groan of knees which have known too many inconsiderate weeds. Taking her walking stick from its resting place, she retreats once more behind the wooden slats of her front door: triumphant.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2013.