An Irish Tan

Ireland’s weather stays perpetually around fifty-seven degrees with grey clouds threatening rain. It is not often that we are blessed with warm sunny days, but when they happen, the entire country goes outside. Saturday, May 17th was one of those days.

I woke early in the morning knowing that the weather called for highs in the mid sixties with blue skies all day long. I learned the hard way not to trust the forecast called for Ireland, but on this day, I had a feeling it was going to be a great one.

Leaving the house around mid morning, I set off for the Grand Canal to go kayaking. The temperature sat comfortably around fifty-four degrees but was steadily climbing.

People strolled the city in their shorts and t-shirts. Flip-flops slapped their way across cobblestone. Kids ran through the parks playing tag. It was a glorious morning, and everyone was taking part in it.

I arrived at the Grand Canal and met up with several other kids in the USIT program ready to kayak the Liffey (the river that runs through Dublin). Looking around the group, I could tell which of us had been in Ireland for a long time and those that had just arrived. Four of us were happily basking in the now high fifty-degree weather, while three girls sat in pants and sweatshirts. We assured the girls that this was the best weather Ireland had seen in months.


Paddles crashing into the water, the group and I moved across the Grand Canal. We splashed water and goofed off under the warm Irish sun. I had not been nor had I wanted to be in water for months. It was a great feeling to be reminded of my natural water bug side.

We were not the only ones with the idea of playing on the water.

Just across the bridge was a water festival. Hundreds of people walked along the canal admiring local arts and crafts, listening to live music, and watching the shows on the water. Wake boarders showed off their skills; floats raced from one quay to another, and contests were held for the most creatively hand built float. Everyone left his or her houses for the rare warm May Day.

Docklands, Dublin, Ireland
Docklands, Dublin, Ireland

After my friends and I wandered through the festival, I met another friend to go hiking. Jacquie and I rode the train south to a town called Bray where we set off on a 5k hike to the next town called Greystones.

Wandering along the eastern edge of Ireland, she and I admired the beautiful scenery. Immediately to our right rose a small mountain. Bushes with yellow blooms grew wildly along the side of the green hills. They swayed in the wind coming from the ocean. To our left was a cliff, which dropped off into the ocean. Waves crashed against the rocks causing the sea to have those mystical white caps along with the blue-green hues.

On the trail were hikers of all shapes and sizes. Tourists in their jeans and t-shirts stopped to capture the moment with their iPhones. Locals strolled with their loved ones. Athletes jogged along the rocky path, and some people brought their dogs along to enjoy the perfect sixty-degree afternoon.

Everyone wanted to be outside on such a wonderful day like that.

When I finally arrived home that evening, I realized I had an Irish Tan. An Irish Tan is sunburn. I probably should have lathered myself in sun cream, but the thought never crossed my mind. Who gets sun burnt in Ireland? Now every time my shoulder aches from the burn, I smile as I remember the time I got an Irish Tan in sixty degree weather.


6 thoughts on “An Irish Tan

  1. Being from a tropical island, we always hit the beach when it’s warm enough. Quite depressing here when we’re stuck inside despite the good weather. Don’t you just love basking in the sun, taking in some vitamin D?

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