I'm not much of a hillwalker but I never say no to a proper challenge - and yes, climbing Bray Head is indeed challenging if you add hail, a few minutes of heavy rain, wild wind, dysmenorrhea and an empty stomach to the equation. It's a popular activity though, go figure. Me and my friend Mark, both dehydrated and famished, made it to the top of the hill after 30 minutes of sweat, swearing and sighs. We're not exactly mountain goats, you know. There were several stops on the way up - dogs to pet, a stunner of a scenery to admire and an infinity of photo ops. Our journey had its (steep) ups and downs, almost like a pilgrimage of sorts, and we went all the way up until we reached the cross atop of the hill, only to be rewarded with a memorable panoramic view. I was expecting to see the coast of Wales on the horizon but it didn't happen - I blame my miopy.
Bray itself looks a bit like a Victorian Coney Island (or how I imagine Coney Island to look like). Seaside sorbet stalls, merry go-rounds, a bandstand, pebbles, well behaved dogs and a creepy hotel lurking ahead. The Sims-like houses, silent streets, sweet shops. I devoured my meaty pizza and washed it down with a refreshing mojito, inhaling the salty sea breeze that reminded me of my hometown.
Our last stop before heading back to the train station was The Harbour Bar, which immediately became one of my all time favourite pubs in County Dublin. Quirky yet traditional, cosy and awesomely decorated; I guess the food menu was to die for, as I could smell venison burgers on the grill. We sat by the fireplace with our drinks and enjoyed our last moments in Bray before another lulling DART ride.