Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dublin Horse Show, August 2013

During our visit to Dublin earlier this month, we enjoyed a great day at the Dublin Horse Show. Held annually at the start of August at its home the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) the Horse Show is one of the highlights of the international show jumping calendar. The international equestrian events take part in the RDS main arena which also acts as home to the very successful Leinster rugby team.

Phew, our seats are ok
With live music and entertainment, arts and crafts, shopping and food as well as the best in national and international equestrian competitions the Horse Show is a great reason to visit Dublin in August. For me the highlight of the Show is the Nations Cup or Aga Khan Trophy as it was known for many years. Held on the Friday, the competing nations compete in a team event over two rounds. Always exciting especially when the home nation Ireland are jumping.

All rise for the national anthem of....
The event starts with the parade of participating nations and the playing of their national anthems. This year there were eight teams taking part, Ireland the champions from 2012, Great Britain, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Ukraine, Spain and the USA. 

We had some great seats in the Anglesea stand, quite close to the front in Row D which gave us a great view of the tricky treble and the finish.  What follows are some shots of the action, with limited experience of photographing live sporting events some of the seemed to work quite well.

Ultimately, thanks to a couple of great clear rounds in the second round, Team GB ran out worthy winners and were presented with the trophy by Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins. The Netherlands were runners up with 3rd place shared by Ireland and the USA.

2013 Nation's Cup winners - Team GB

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Climbing Djouce, County Wicklow, Ireland

During a recent trip back to Ireland, we spent a lovely afternoon climbing or perhaps I should say walking up Djouce one of the mountains found in Wicklow. The county of Wicklow is blessed with some of Ireland's most beautiful landscapes from coastal beaches to cliffs and mountains and is one of Ireland's most popular walking destinations.

The Wicklow Way is part of a network of long-distance self-guided walking trails which run throughout Ireland. It combines easy accessibility with a wide variety if scenic experiences, some of them in truly remote upland areas. They include mountains, upland lakes, steep-sided glacial valleys, mountain streams, forests and farmlands. The Wicklow Way route is now the most westerly section of the E8 footpath which extends across much of Europe. You can find more information on http://www.wicklowway.com

With just a Saturday afternoon to spare, the Wicklow Way wasn't on the menu for this trip, perhaps another one with a lot more time on our hands. Instead our plan was to walk to the top of Djouce and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views from the top. At a height of 725 metres the walk to the top is not too challenging and far from steep so its very accessible to all. What follows are some photos from a lovely afternoon in the Wicklow countryside.

In order to protect the landscape, the trail is laid out using old railway sleepers which also make the going a lot easier for those trekking in either direction as you'll see below. 

I'll leave it to some more photos from closer to the top of Djouce to tell the rest of the tale, as seeing is believing just how beautiful the Wicklow countryside is even on a cloudy day.

If you're planning a short break in Ireland, most likely Dublin will be your destination. If thats the case, take a couple of extra days to explore Wicklow, the garden of Ireland.

Hopefully you enjoyed this short post on climbing Djouce, another of our favourite places in Wicklow is the Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, for more info click on the following link Powerscourt