Now I’m convinced! Ailsa is missing home so much that she knew if the topic of this week’s challenge had anything to do with roads, walkways or paths that I would fall for her little trick. Yes, of course I will.
Here in Ireland one can never be too far from a canal or a waterway. There’s something special about these man-made rivers. Two originate in Dublin and wind their way through the city, eventually reaching the countryside. The canals were the hi-tech infrastructure of their day. They linked communities and towns all along their routes between the distant Shannon and Dublin City.
The Royal and the Grand Canals began life before the first days of the 1800’s. Pathways along to the canal were not only there for the odd fellow who wanted to walk his dog on a rare sunny day. The pathways, or towpaths, were vital. It was on these pathways that the real motive power for the barges was to be found. Horses. Yep, they pulled the boats along. Soon the term ‘horse walk’ became the norm in Ireland. An expression still used by those in the know.
One of my many favourite section of the Royal Canal is the Deep Sinking. This section was cut through rock. In places the towpath is more than ten meters above the water. In summer, when the trees are at their greenest best, this section of canal has an almost magical attraction. All around the city rushes along at today’s modern pace yet only meters away it is as if time has frozen. There’s an eerie quite down along the waterline… one can almost hear the whispers of the souls who died while cutting the channel out of the living rock. Almost.
These photos were taken in 2011. Next Saturday I’ll again walk through here. This time with a different camera and a different mission. The plan is to raise awareness and funds for the Midlands SIMON Community. I have the charity donation page already set up so if you’re feeling to give me your seal of approval all you have to do is click here and proceed. Thank you in advance! See you along the towpath, soon!