When you’ve spent whole days on the train going in and out to Dublin then you learn to appreciate the art of the Dublin DART.
It’s there outside the window, of course, Greystones in County Wicklow with its new pier and brightly-coloured houses that acted as beacons for fishermen.
The tunnel under Bray Head, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which brings you out parallel to the promenade.
Dun Laoghaire, with its pier where locals and holidaymakers still perambulate and the Forty Foot sea swimming area which Leopold Bloom visits in James Joyce‘s Ulysses.
The millionaires playground that is Killiney and Dalkey which doubles for the Bay of Naples in movie sets and where the likes of Bono and Enya live.
And into Sandymount and Ballsbridge and Lansdowne Road in D4, the South Dublin postcode where movers and shakers going back to WB Yeats live.
Touch down at Lansdowne Road
Now go and play and watch rugby at the stadium on the aforementioned street, now corporatised as the Aviva.
And there I would stop and make my way to Embassy House, on the verge of Embassy Park where you would often see Dublin’s high society walk their dogs.
On the occasions I would hop the DART to get into Dublin city centre (I preferred to walk) I would take in the Grand Canal Dock, home to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, among the modern office buildings.
Pearse de resistance
And either stop off at Pearse Station, a spit away from Trinity College and the Irish government buildings and the National Gallery…
The home to Titians, Rembrandts, Brueghel (Younger and Elder), Vermeer, Picasso et Monet, among others.
And naturally the best of Irish – John Lavery, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy and William Orpen.
And a separate wing to Jack B Yeats, WB’s brother (see it all comes around).
Thrill of Tara
You’ll know you’re in the centre of the centre of the city when you alight at Tara Street where cousins’ pub The Workshop still has the Kennedys livery on it and now a wonderful squirrel mural.
Take in the bridges across the Liffey and amble along one of the finest statued streets anywhere, O’Connell Street, with the Great Liberator Daniel O’Connell at the head.
And ‘King’ Charles Stewart Parnell at the foot. With the likes of a fist-pumping ‘man of the people’ Jim Larkin and other Irish heroes along the way.
By which time you will be venturing into North Dublin territory… and any self-respecting South Dubliner or someone who works there doesn’t venture further than that.
Malahide of your life
And nor did I, except to see my relatives who live out in the North Dublin suburbs of Portmarnock or Malahide, while the Howth peninsula too has its charms
Now should you be a fan of Adrian Dunbar, and if not, Jesus, Mary and Joseph and his Little Donkey why not?…
Then you will have seen him in my old Greystones stomping ground on the DART platform.
And, of course ,this is one trigger (as if I need one) to go off track with my erstwhile DART journey.
Take a LEAP
That, and the fact that I will be fetching out my LEAP card to travel again on it in a whistlestop trip to Dublin in a week and a half.
And that Iarnrod Eireann, who still keep in touch (I must owe some money or have a violation pending) have sent some info on what you can see from the DART to out on the water.
With stickers to draw young and old celebrating Dublin Bay Biosphere.
And, yes, that’s the art of the Dublin DART… so get out and enjoy.