David Cooke was a cab driver and amateur photographer. He used to get frustrated as he drove by tourists taking pictures. “I would say to myself, don’t they know there is a much prettier picture just around the corner”. Of course they didn’t, so Cooke started giving photo walking tours to some of the lesser known scenic spots in Dublin. I was fortunate to go on two of David’s tours (www.dawn2dusk.ie) when I attended the TBEX Conference in Dublin.
South Dublin Coast Tour
This tour headed down the coast of Dublin to a variety of beaches, piers, harbors and lookout points to capture pictures of the seacoast of Dublin.
The tour started at the popular strolling spot of Sandymount Strand. We visited at high tide but there is a large inlet of water known as the Cockle Lake here even at low tide. It was not the most scenic point of the tour, but as David promised, the tour is arranged to build from there.
Sandycove – The Forty Foot
Originally a gentlemen’s only swimming spot, bathers of all genders now enjoy the water here in the shadow of a Martello Tower. The Martello Towers were built by the English to protect against invasion in the 1800s. James Joyce lived for a time in this round stone tower.
Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Dun Laoghaire Harbour is one of the largest harbors in the country and we walked the length of the East Pier to the lighthouse on the end as sailboats plied the waters of the harbor and fisherman brought in their catch of crabs for the markets of Europe.
This very tiny harbor would be easy to miss but we were able to photograph some of the local rowboats and fishing boats as well as some local rowing crews practicing. The Druids built a standing stone circle where the nearby village is situated.
Another diminutive harbor with old boats lying about and families out fishing. Just 300 meters from the harbor lies Dalkey Island with another Martello Tower built to protect against French invasion before their defeat at the battle of Trafalgar. The island was occupied as early as 4500 B.C. and also has the ruins of a 7th century stone church.
Killiney Hill Park
This park was opened in honor of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. From the summit of the hill (capped by the Killiney Hill Obelisk also known as the witches hat) there are beautiful vistas of the entire South Coast of Dublin which provided a fitting end to the tour.
Dublin by Night Tour
I knew that this tour would be more challenging to my photography craft as I have always been challenged by night photography. This tour started at the Ferryman Pub on the River Liffey and then walked as far down as the Ha’penny Bridge where we crossed over the river and returned on the North shore of the river. Our tour was partially in the rain as we took pictures of graffiti, bridges, pubs, public art and life along the River Liffey.