Excursions: Howth, Ireland — The Grand Marais of Ireland

If you’re a fan of plump little seals flopping around in the water, ominous fogs floating amongst jagged cliffs, and some of the best goddamn clam chowder — then boy do I have good news for you.

Howth, Ireland has all that, and much, much more. For reference on how great this town is, comedian Eric Andre was just there. Here he is going off on Bono about that U2 album everyone was forced to have on their phones and couldn’t get rid of:

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Great stuff as always Mr. Andre.

While it has been a few years since my brother, Tyler, and I paid a visit to the small port town, I remember the day well, for it was quite a fun trip.

From Dublin, we took a 30-minute train ride to the Howth peninsula. Not long after arriving, we stumbled upon my favorite animal — the seal — which was my first time ever seeing one in its natural habitat.

Behold, the grey seal in all its glory:

“The f*ck you looking at” – This seal, probably.
Getting its good side.

I know, I know, those pics belong in National Geographic.

Apparently, there is a certain local seal in Howth who goes by the name of Sammy — and while there really isn’t any way of proving this — I believe those photos are indeed of the famous Samuel.

Sammy is apparently notorious for begging for food from fishermen who return from the sea, and this little feller was definitely doing the same.

Here is a photo of him hanging out by a boat, waiting for the fisherman on board to toss him some scraps:

Begging for scraps — seals truly are the dogs of the sea.

After watching Sammy (or perhaps just his friend) swim around by the docks for a bit, my brother and I headed off on a hike around the cliffs — I believe we took the Cliff Path Loop.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures and the fog was pretty heavy that day — which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though! Still was an awesome little hike around the peninsula.

Pretty dope signage for one of the local trail guides.
This is an ideal day for Stephen King.

Wouldn’t you know it, but I actually saw a couple more seals at the bottom of these cliffs.

All-in-all, it was a nice easy hike. But you did have to watch your step — especially if you ventured to some of the parts of the trail that was closer to cliff edges.

When we returned from our jaunt around the edge of the peninsula, we hit up one of the local restaurants, Crabby Jo’s, and had some tasty seafood chowder — complete with poached Salmon, cod, smoked haddock & mussels.

After that, it was time to head back to Dublin via the train.

But not before I snagged one more pic:

The Old Man and the Sea.

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