Thursday, March 26, 2009

You take your car to work

I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to the sea. I guess it runs in the family: the brother takes epic oceanic photos (here); and the grandfather wrote a book about his love for traditional boats (here). My heartrate goes up and I get mild goosebumps whenever I see a ship entering or especially leaving port - even if it's just the decrepit old rust-bucket that is the MV Celtic Star, which I know is only heading for Liverpool, and carrying nothing more exotic than a bunch of underpaid Romanian sailors.

I feel lucky that my daily commute to the office (whether by DART or the car) takes me past some of the most captivating views Dublin has to offer. From the car on Strand Rd, or the DART south of Sydney Parade, I'm afforded glimpses of sometimes breathtaking scenery, from the hills of Howth to Killiney, and every grain of sand and drop of water in between.

But it's the mystery and potential of the port that really captivates my imagination - it's a border, a point of transition, the place where the controlled chaos of human civilisation meets Nature untamed. Every time I cross the East Link bridge the scene has changed: different ships come and go - the Jeanie Johnston and Róisín to the West, the Jonathan Swift and Ulysses to the East - and the water has a different look: when I last crossed it on Friday it was fiercely blue, flecked white by the driving wind and sunshine.

It's my favourite view in Dublin, looking down the final few kilometres of the Liffey and seeing the open horizon framed by the docks on each side. I couldn't find any decent photos of it on Flickr, so I'll just have to take a leaf from Paudie's book and go shoot some myself :)

In the meantime, here's a pretty amazing picture of a pretty amazing boat, which was another good reason to appreciate the view from the East Link for a few months there:

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