Posted: January 3, 2013 Filed under: Dublin photos, Life, Odd photos, Signs | Tags: Docklands, Dublin, Ireland, London, Military, Odd Photos, Snow, Strange Signs, Thames, Tunnells, Walking, Warning Signs
Hidden gems and forbidden ground – things I’ve seen walking in 2012
A year ago this week, I mentioned here that I had started to walk regularly as part of a pathway back to fitness.
My approach to this was to be fairly utilitarian – using walking as a means to fitness and sometimes a means of transport. My friend Chris who commented encouragingly on my efforts suggested that walking might introduce me to things I’d never seen before, but I didn’t really accept that. After all, most of my walking would be in Dublin or other places I already knew well, and what would there be to see that I’ve not already seen?
I also commented in my post, mindful of how new year efforts often peter out, that we would see at the end of the year if I managed to continue the daily walks. Well I did, barring a couple of weeks here and there when I was caught up in some pressing domestic matters.
Perhaps the best way to update you on my progress in the past 12 months, and to illustrate how wrong I was – the walks quickly became as much about discovery as utility – is to share some of the interesting things I stumbled across over the last 12 months (bearing in mind that what is interesting to me might not qualify as interesting to everyone!)
Included below are pictures of things taken only on my walks – not my day to day life – which otherwise would have been unseen by me.)
All of these pictures can be viewed in larger, high-res detail by clicking on the photo.
Abandoned army firing range in the Dublin Mountains . . with interesting artwork
A closer look shows that under the grass, a bare-breasted woman is holding up the surface of the hillside.
A Fairy Tree in Marlay Park, Dublin
Pin your wish to the fairy tree
Travelling from Dublin to Cork I set off earlier so I can stop for a walk en route, and see sunrise over a frosty Curragh
I’m determined not to let the weather stop my plans for a walk across Hampstead Heath, and am rewarded with a fine winter view of London
. . and instead of a snow man, a snow bunny.
On each of my three visits to London this year I have walked a section of the Thames Path . . here the old London Transport Lotts Road power station stands against a winter sky.
Graffiti under a bridge in London
. . and on a hoarding in Dublin Docklands.
For nearly 50 years as I have travelled the Dublin to Cork road I have always looked up at a very steep wooded hillside outside Fermoy, with what looked like a stone cross on top. This year I stopped and climbed it . . and it’s higher up, and the cross far bigger than I realised.
. .and from the hilltop could now look down at the Dublin to Cork road far below. No longer down there thinking “Maybe one day”.
Below ground – walking through the Rotherhithe Tunnel in east London. I’d always wanted to do this walk too!
When walking the Rotherithe Tunnel, best not to hang about. I was certainly a petrol-head by the time I got out the other side . .
On the subject of warning notices, this one in Dublin Docklands is pretty comprehensive. Is there anything you ARE allowed to do?
The Day The Earth Stood Still? It’s high noon on a saturday, and the docks are deserted as I walk the long, long Alexandra Road.
A solitary bird stands guard at an abandoned fortress in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
On the Thames Path again, and I came across the old Harrods Furniture Depository which I remember seeing in the 1980s falling into disrepair . .
. . but which now has a new lease of life as ultra-smart apartments.
Sometimes I am walking over my own family history. This manhole cover in Dublin Docklands was cast in my grandfather’s Iron-foundry at Inchicore where my uncles and father worked for many years, and where I also worked in the school holidays. Judging by the date, I might even have had a hand in making this one!. The foundry is long gone, but hundreds of Conway drains and covers remain on Irish streets, and will for many years to come.
Another river walk, this time The Rhine in Germany, yeilds an especially moody sky.
A path in a park in Co. Kerry is blocked after a bridge is washed away in a storm. The choice of wording on the warning sign makes it seem far more interesting . .
The curling of the warning tape in the breeze makes the message seem even more sinister. Is this perhaps the Garden of Eden? Is the Tree of Knowledge just beyond?
So there we have it, a few of the the interesting sights I would not have seen if I hadn’t kept up walking throughout 2012.
Below are my stats for the year from the wonderful “Walkmeter” app.
I hope to do even better in 2013. Steve