The first thing I heard was the music. David Byrne of Talking Heads was singing out loud ‘Take me to the river,’ and around me a number of people joined in, smiling. It was a good start.
The day was warm and the sun, thankfully, made a long overdue and lengthy appearance. The RiverFest needed it, and the thousands who showed up, certainly enjoyed themselves. There was something for everyone, and the blue sky above was everything that organizers and attendees wanted. After the recent miserable weather it was great to see so many people in T-shirts and eating ice creams. Summer in Dublin!
I took a few photos of LE Roisin before carefully making my way up the gangplank and joining a small tour group. The sailor who led us around had lots of interesting stories to tell, and made the experience very enjoyable. It was also interesting to see along The Liffey from the ship’s bridge, a unique view up the river of the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the city beyond.
Along the North Wall the crowds were deep and the smells of hot food enticing. Also, there were stalls selling all sorts of marine stuff, including sea captain’s and pirate’s hats – and by the look of things business was pretty brisk. There was a long queue to board the Famine ship Jeanie Johnson – not unlike, I thought, what it must have been like all those years ago. The difference, however, was the laughter.
The was much face painting in progress; tumblers doing all sorts of contortions (looked painful!); singers singing sea shanties; and others stepping on board for a trip around Dublin Bay. On my way back over the bridge a number of young swimmers were jumping/diving off the edge, making a great splash! All in all, the RiverFest is great fun, and under a clear blue sky – a real winner!