Saturday, September 5th
The sun beating down in early September with a refreshing waterfront breeze made for a perfect day to hike the coast of Howth. N.U.in planned a day trip to Ireland’s beautiful harbor town of Howth for the students to enjoy a scenic walk along the town’s cliffs. It was amazing to me how drastically scenery could change in a 20 minute train ride. After spending a week in Dublin, it was a nice break from the rainy bustling city to be in open space full of fresh air. Immediately after hopping off the train I knew we were close to the water thanks to the strong smell of fish. My friends and I quickly began our ascent up the cliffs to get a better view of the spectacular landscape. Once at the top, I instantly noticed this fairly large island a few miles off the coast. I did not notice any activity around the island or any signs of civilization on this beautiful piece of land in the distance. I later learned that was not always the case.
Over 1000 years ago in the 9th century, the Vikings settled on a small island known as Lambay Island just off the shore of Howth. This island is the exact one I noticed while on my hike with my friends. After seeing the area, it is easy to visualize the vikings sailing in and finding a new temporary home in Ireland. The vikings did not remain on the island, for it made more sense to settle on the larger piece of land with access to more resources. This Scandinavian group continued inland and founded the city of Dublin sailing in on their longships. Dublin (originally Dubh Linn), meaning “Black Pool”, was named after a large area of still water that connected to the River Liffey where the Vikings docked their ships.
– John Braun