Last year I was fortunate enough to visit Ireland for a third time and it looks as though I will be back there again in 2018.
In 2015 I ventured west and got to drive some of 'The Wild Atlantic Way' which traverses the rugged west coast adjacent to the wild Atlantic Ocean. Such a spectacular coast of raw beauty doted with whitewashed houses. A landscape photographers dream.
That trip also took me to the Aran Islands, arguably the most remote place I have visited. As the luck of the Irish wouldn't have it, my wife Margie and I travelled out there by ferry in appalling weather. It rained heavily through the day and it was bitterly cold, yet still a real highlight of the trip.
In 2017 I returned to Ireland primarily to spend time with our family in Dublin including three grandchildren. We stayed pretty much within the environs of Dublin and unlike previous visits, this time I took quite a liking to Dublin. In fact, I'd like to spend an entire summer or longer there one day. I have a feeling those summers are somewhat shorter than here in the Bay of Plenty. It may well have been the warmer sunnier weather this time around that tugged at my heart, but not as much as my Dublin based part of the family did. Dublin, while of similar population to Auckland, New Zealand, is a city that fair hums, and not just in the traditional Irish bars, but in the streets in general. Proximity to Europe makes it a tourism mecca. For city street photography, its paradise.
The truth about leprechauns. I always thought they were real!
One of the most striking things about the streets of Dublin in summer is the riot of colour not only from life in the streets and the in-your-face paint jobs on buildings, but also from the sheer number of hanging flower baskets.
Pretty in Pink. Exploring the streets and lanes of Dublin City can present scenes just begging for a photograph.
Its not far from the hustle and bustle of Dublin to wonderful expansive parks and estates such as Phoenix Park, which is the largest enclosed park in Europe. Its bigger than all of the parks in London combined.
Right in the heart of the city of Dublin and a sanctuary from retail indulgence is the beautiful city escape within the city, St Stephen's Green
Just a short drive from Dublin is the affluent coastal suburb of Malahide and nearby Malahide Castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century. It is sited on over 260 acres of beautiful parkland. The castle was home to the Talbot family for almost 800 years between 1185 - 1975. In 1975 Rose Talbot sold the estate to the government of Ireland and it is now a truly wonderful public space.
So in 2017 I really enjoyed photographing Dublin; a colourful city rich in history, culture, vitality and public parks and green space.
Oh, and yes those world famous fish and chips from Leo Burdock's were well worth the stop. I won't mention the side trip to a camera shop and the new lens I accidentally bought.......