Friday, August 22, 2014

Marlay Park

When Sara was still in New York, I was looking for a way to keep myself busy. I saw a public outdoor screening of Ghostbusters announced in the Dublin Event Guide in Marlay Park in South County Dublin. This park had been one of those big green splotches on the extended Dublin map that I had had vague plans to visit before, but now I had a reason and a schedule. Time to get on the bike.

The park itself is just north of the M50 southwest of City Centre. Sara and I had been walking as far as Rathfarnham, the township just north of the park, so I knew that cycling there would be no sweat. 

I saw on the map (embedded above) that the park has "woodland" areas, but I wasn't sure what that meant in an urban park. I made sure I had time to catch the movie and explore these "woodlands" for myself.

First up, the movie. I was wondering how they would display the movie outdoors during the day. A traditional projection on a white screen would be very difficult to see in the sunlight. To be seen, the movie would have to be displayed on some kind of huge backlit screen...

He Slimed Me
"He Slimed Me"

Through the rain, the picture was bright and clear. It looks like it must have been set up at no small expense, and it was well attended by the neighborhood families. Ghostbusters was the middle movie of an all-afternoon tripleheader. I wasn't interested in the first or last films, so I took to the trail after the credits rolled.

Marlay Park, it turns out, is the starting point of The Wicklow Way, the famous walking trail. I had heard of the trail before, but I must have forgotten that it officially started so close to where we are in Dublin. The starting point is announced with a stone gateway of sorts on the north side of Marlay Park.

Wicklow Way Starting Point Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland
Wicklow Way Starting Point

The Wicklow Way winds through the park, but a number of other paved and unpaved trails crisscross the park as well. A little stream (maybe the River Slang?) runs through the park and over a number of small waterfalls.

Marlay Park Walking Trail Dublin, Ireland
Marlay Park Walking Trail

Stone Bridge Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland
Stone Bridge

Waterfall 1 Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland
Waterfall 1

I saw a badger burrow in the south end of the park. It was getting close to sunset, but I didn't want to hang around to catch the resident mustelid. The light made it difficult to get a good photo of the hole.

Badger Burrow Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland
Badger Burrow

Waterfall 2 Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland
Waterfall 2
Waterfall 3 Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland
Waterfall 3

The Wicklow Way is marked every few hundred yards with recycled black plastic signposts. In the park, they are handy. In the deep woods, they are lifesavers.

Wicklow Way Signpost Marlay Park Dublin, Ireland
Wicklow Way Signpost

In the middle of the park, the little river is dammed up into a shallow lake. A deck with park benches got me out of the shade of the woods and into what little sun there was that day.

Deck and Park Bench on the Lake
Deck and Park Bench on the Lake

I had just enough time to canvas most of the trails in the park before I ran out of daylight. Thanks for hosting the free movies, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council! I hope to see you again soon.

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