How To Feel Like a Tourist If You Have Decided on a ‘Staycation’ in Dublin This Year!

Many of us may be regretting not booking a foreign holiday given the state or of our ‘Summer in Dublin’.  But last weekend I felt like a tourist in a foreign city (despite the weather) and it is all down to the recently discovered (by me) Grand Canal Green Route. Cycling into the city is now so easy, even for an amateur cyclist like me, who was always afraid of traffic, falling off the bike as it goes over a pothole or crashing into other cyclists who go whizzing by.

Starting from Interactions’ new office in Bawnogue, Clondalkin, it took  just an hour to get to the Liffey at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay using cycle lanes all the way, and actually being on the road with other traffic for only a short distance.  The Green Route is quiet, smooth, leafy and picturesque and you get to see Dublin from a totally different viewpoint. Right now you can see the cygnets turning into swans, baby ducks sticking close to their parents, water rushing over locks and families out for a weekend cycle.  Coming up to Blackhorse, the traffic, the buses, the trams, all come as a surprise reminding you that you are in a city. From there, the journey can be continued with the canal on one side and the Luas tracks on the other; passing Drimnagh it was nice to see that they too are promoting Smarter Travel!

Grand Canal CycleGrand Canal CycleFrom Suir Road you have to leave the relative safety of the cycle track and take to the marked cycle lanes on the road but you soon arrive at Portobello bridge where demarcated and dedicated cycle lanes, controlled with their own traffic lights, take you all the way to Grand Canal Street. Then it’s a short hop under the railway line to Grand Canal Dock and its enticing bars and restaurants. We resisted the temptation to stop, lured on by the sight of the Liffey and the ships moored at her banks. Here the cycle lanes seem to continue along the quays, but we ventured back to Grand Canal Dock for a well-deserved rest; sitting outside overlooking the water, drinking a cold beer, with the bikes safely locked in designated spaces, it was then that I felt I was on holiday – a tourist for a day!

And we were not alone – cycling is now a ‘mainstream’ activity in Dublin as you can see from the numbers travelling this year alone – 188600! The journey back into the prevailing westerly wind was mildly challenging, but if you can’t get a suntan this summer, a bit of wind-burn is better than nothing!

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