In July, we had a heatwave, and I have booked a couple of trips, among which was kayaking on the Liffey river in the city center of Dublin. It was a guided tour, which I usually do when going on a trip abroad. I was looking for summer activities, and kayaking was something I wanted to try for so long; I went on a tour with no previous knowledge of kayaking, and I love it, although I was all in water by the end of the guided tour.
During the activity, I didn’t expect to learn new things about Dublin, and I thought we would be kayaking and maybe given some background about the historical building around the river. It was more of a hidden and not well-known fact, or at least for me. I will highly recommend this tour if you are coming to Dublin, or if you have something similar in your city, just go. The town looks slightly different from the river view and is such fun to try to battle the water with the paddles.
I didn’t realize they can have the river tours just when the tides are low to medium. I learned the most of the water we see in the city is seawater as Liffey doesn’t go too close to the sea; the waters of both merge somewhere close to Dublin City Council Building, and actually, here is where all began. The guide explained that there were settlements from both sides of the river connected with a wooden bridge ( if I remember correctly), and the city grew from that point on both sides.
On the quay from both sides, you can see a mix of new and not so new buildings and archaeologists and the locals are trying to keep and maintain the current look.
You wouldn’t see a tall building, and I don’t know why I remember someone saying that is due to the soil as it is not suitable for building skyscrapers. Not sure how this is true, but, on tour, they told us that is due to an old law which is not valid anymore – there can not be a building taller than the church, and when you look around, you can see that. Well, this is changing around the docklands as the city is growing and new buildings start emerging.
In this regard, the guide told us that when they began building the Luas(the local tram system) extension under the Conolly bridge, a 100 years skeleton was found.It can be found in the National History Museum.
An interesting fact is that Dublin gets its name from water passing through a small tunnel forming a pool at Dublin Castle. This water was black, and in the Irish language, they say “dubh linn” which translates literally – “black pool” but later with the English language was transformed to the current name Dublin.
Travelling on the river, we passed a few bridges, one of which is quite famous-Ha’penny Bridge– I know it is just like a Penny or Liffey Bridge, and of course, there is a short story behind it. In the past, ferries operated on the river, but they were in such a bad condition that the Dublin administration requested the owner to fix them or build a bridge. He decided on the bridge option and was granted the right to charge for ha’penny for each crossing. The charge was dropped after a while, as there were other gate lines build and people didn’t want to pay to cross.
And with that will close this short article.
It was lovely evening trip 🙂