TRAVEL with pat and lew

running in Phoenix Park

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 3, 2007

Pat is a runner, having completed 10 marathons, so she’s thrilled that our Dublin home exchange is located near the sprawling Phoenix Park, which at 1750 acres is the largest enclosed park in Europe.

On the first morning, we go out together. There are two reasons for this. It’s a nice day and I’d like to have my coffee outside. And, Pat has a history of getting lost.

So I buy coffee and a paper at the corner store, and sit on a bench waving goodbye as Pat runs off. Before I can finish the coffee, she’s back.

“Did you get lost?” I ask.

“No. I couldn’t find the park. I ran out and around, and here I am. Where’s the 1750 acres?”

I’m of course skeptical. I have a map and it shows where the park is, so why can’t she find it. I never say that, but Pat knows what I’m thinking when, later that morning, we march out together to find the missing park.

Same result. A brief circuit and we’re back where we started. Pat can hardly stop grinning. “You believe me now?”

We try again the next day and ask directions.

“Just go to the Garda station.”

“Where is it?”

Directions in Ireland are always lacking just a bit in precise specificity. “Just go along, turn after a while, and you’ll see it for sure.”

We don’t.

The next morning, Pat goes out by herself, and returns triumphant, having conquered the park, run six miles, and found her way back. It turns out, contrary to what shows on the map, that we had been in a small side section of the park when we thought we were in the main section.

Later, Pat takes me on a guided tour of the broad meadows, tree lined avenues, and quiet ponds.

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