So I FINALLY hopped on the DART and headed North to Malahide. This is an area that I had heard much about since I arrived in Ireland but had yet to make my way up there. I was fortunate enough to have an old friend, Carson (who is visiting Dublin for a month), come along and we explored together. Let me tell you, I was kicking myself in the arse for not having made it up there before. I'm so stupid for not having taken pictures of the mini town itself. It was like a miniature version of Galway: absolutely pleasant and gorgeous. The restaurant scene was thriving and I made a mental note to tell Nick that we WILL be returning. There wasn't even an invasion of the usual Dublin teenagers and study abroad students causing a ruckus for once! Carson thought Malahide was just like Portsmouth, NH and I couldn't agree more. Even the light posts in the streets were just like those in Portsmouth!
Though I didn't take pics of the cute streets, I took loads of pictures from our exploring the coastal areas and beaches.
We started at the harbour area as Carson ate his fish and chips. Apparently he's quite the picky eater. As we looked at the boats I think we already knew that we absolutely loved Malahide and we had only been there maybe ten minutes.
The day was mixed in regards to the weather; typical Ireland. One minute there would be clouds and light rain, the next the sun would be beating down on us.
After watching the boats we started walking toward the beachy areas where I took way too many photos. One of the first things I noticed was this huge hotel looking right out on the water. Despite knowing nothing about the place, I could see myself recommending it to someone simply because of the location. It was unreal.
The hotel was huge! I would love to explore it just to see what it's like on the inside.
Carson, like myself is very drawn to the ocean and beaches, so naturally we found ourselves at the Malahide Estuary.
One thing I really appreciated about the beaches was how smooth and relatively unrocky the sand was. While I love Killiney Beach and the beach in Greystones, they're quite rocky and walking barefoot can be tricky. The beach in Malahide was so smooth and our shoes quickly came off.
Walking along the shore we stumbled upon a jellyfish! I had never seen one like this before so naturally we were taking pictures!
I find jellyfish fascinating. I love how you can see everything inside and how it's incredibly tempting to just give them a poke (but you never do of course). They're squishy and so bizarre. I was a bit surprised to stumble upon this guy as I had no idea that this part of Ireland even had jellyfish in the ocean!
You could easily see across the Estuary as you walked in the sand. A good few boats were out. Something about seeing the sailboats all over is really pleasant.
We walked along the shore for quite some time before climbing back up by the road. that's when I spotted some adorable (and slightly intimidating) bulls and baby cows across the away. They came right up to the camera and I hate to admit it, but I definitely squealed at least once from delight. I adore cows!
I think one thing that I love about Ireland is the climate around the ocean. Sometimes you could be in Dublin City sweating a bit from the sheer amount of people around and mugginess, but it's only a quick DART ride to the ocean where you're greeted by fresh air and a wonderful breeze rolling off the sea. The change from muggy city to breezy seaside is always a positive one.
We spotted this house or something up on the road that was basically half castle half house. I wondered if it was actually someone's home or if it was used for commercial purposes instead. As we started walking back toward the town, the houses grew bigger and bigger and I couldn't believe the size of some of them.
After seeing some coast, Carson was desperate for an ice cream and I wanted to see Malahide Castle. It was getting late but that was okay as it stays light for what feels like ages during the summer here. Unfortunately for Carson, we ended up going to the castle first as finding a good ice cream cone proved to be difficult.
It turns out that Malahide Castle is way more than just a castle. It was set on huge grounds with loads of green space and an AVOCA restaurant at the main admission centre. Unfortunately the shops and castle itself were closed but we still roamed around the grounds; half exploring half searching for public toilets.
There was an old church partially in ruins that was quite neat to look at. I have a thing for looking at old churches as I'm fascinated about how it must have been in the days when the church was fully functioning, especially since it maybe serviced those at the castle (could be totally off, correct me if I'm wrong but that's my guess).Who knows, maybe it wasn't even a church at all!
The castle itself was closed but you could still get a peek of the top! Some guy was up in the tower (or maybe it was a ghost because I'm not sure how he got up there when the doors were closed).
The cemetery by the church was quite neat. I also spotted a very old looking Celtic cross thingy hiding behind some remnants of the church structure.
The entrance to the visitor centre was guarded by these petrified looking dog statues which I found to be at least a little amusing. The looked like they had seen the same ghost as me!
Carson and I finally found some toilets next to this supercool playground on the castle grounds. After peeing, we finally found Carson his ice cream cone, then we made our way home.
Overall, Malahide was much more adorable and lively than I expected it to be. Carson and I both really liked it there and definitely plan to return. As we walked along the beach, we could spot what looked like an old monastery tower across the way in the shallow lands/dunes. I think I will definitely return to Malahide and walk along the other side of the estuary and harbour to see what the little tower-looking thing is about. For anyone coming to Dublin, Malahide could be a great and affordable place to escape the bustle of city centre, especially on the rare hot day. There was certainly plenty of beautiful things to take pictures of and many food places that looked amazing.