The sun decided to come out on Valentine’s day, so C and I decided to go out into it. I had wanted to go for a big coastal walk. A few late nights, and the scratchy first feelings of a cold helped us make the decision to stay a bit closer to home and not to exert ourselves too much.
The Phoenix Park is one of Europe’s largest city parks. It is a fifteen-twenty minute bike ride from our house and we almost never go. I would say I enter the gates of the park maybe twice a year. Maybe. From now, for 2015, I would like to remedy that.
Phoenix Park is incredibly beautiful and sprawling. Though it is used by a huge number of Dubliners (and their dogs) every day, it doesn’t feel busy. It is vast, with views over the city towards the bay and up into the Wicklow Mountains.
C and I parked our bikes and walked from the Wellington Monument up to the Papal Cross and back. We found three herds of deer, the American Ambassador’s residence (man, oh, man, does the Ambassador have it made), and a satisfying amount of exercise for a Saturday afternoon.
We re-fueled at Ryan’s on Park Gate Street, because what is a big walk without a hefty portion of fish and chips and a pint of Guinness as a reward? These fish and chips were particularly delicious and I don’t think hunger was the only sauce.
Ireland beat France in the Six Nations match, the sun shone, the air was crisp, the deer seemed happy and relaxed. All in all, Valentine’s day was a win.
(For more on the history of the Phoenix Park, see their website.)