An Afternoon of Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin

Kayaks on the Grand Canal in Dublin
We walked along the footpath next to Dublin's Grand Canal toward Portobello. We knew we'd arrived in the right place when we saw boldly colored kayaks sitting at the edge of the water. We'd availed ourselves of a Groupon deal almost a year ago for a deeply discounted two hour kayaking session on the Grand Canal offered by Extreme Time-Off.  We were delayed in using the voucher for the kayaking session due to dredging and construction work undertaken on Dublin's Grand Canal last summer.
Extreme Time-off Van
With minimal instruction (a few encouraging words and 1-sheeter explaining how to paddle and steer), we were ushered into the kayak and sent on our way to paddle down the Grand Canal.

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Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin
Our kayaking session started out fine enough.  We were able to get moving downstream although we kept zig-zagging from bank to bank.  We couldn't quite figure out how to make the kayak go straight down the center of the canal.
Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin
Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin
Slowly but surely, the first bridge over the Grand Canal drew closer.
The Grand Canal in Dublin viewed from the water
We made it!
Under a bridge on Dublin's Grand Canal
Paddling on, the scenery in Dublin along the Grand Canal left a bit to be desired - barbed wire and litter.
Barbed wire along Dublin's Grand Canal
Litter along Dublin's Grand Canal
Litter along Dublin's Grand Canal
We were starting to get the hang of paddling our kayak as we approached a second bridge.  I did get a little creeped out though when I spotted a rat running alongside the canal under one of the bridges!  While we weren't great at steering, at least we didn't fall out of the kayak!
A bridge on Dublin's Grand Canal
All the bridges we passed on the Grand Canal were dated 1791 - just a little piece of history.
A bridge dated 1791 on Dublin's Grand Canal
Our errant paddling caused ducks to scatter away from our kayak on more than one occasion.
The Grand Canal in Dublin viewed from the water
We could see other kayakers in the distance (we were a bit slower than our compatriots).
Kayakers on the Grand Canal in Dublin
As we paddled on, the scenery improved dramatically.  We were unfortunately plagued by midges in certain patches along the Grand Canal but that just made us paddle faster.
The Grand Canal viewed from water level
We turned ourselves around and started heading back up the canal the way we'd come.
The Grand Canal in Dublin viewed from water level
We had to dig deep to make it back to the dock in the two hour time window.  When I pulled myself out of the kayak, I could barely stand up - I didn't feel like I was engaging my legs that much in paddling, but apparently so.  I was definitely sore over the next couple days.
Kayaking on Dublin's Grand Canal
Is kayaking on Dublin's Grand Canal worth doing? In the end, we did decide that it was worth doing once but I think we'll stick to shore-based exploration in Dublin from now on.
Bridge over the Grand Canal at Portobello in Dublin
Dublin's Grand Canal is much prettier when viewed from the footpath and it's definitely easier to steer... :-)
Flowers on the Grand Canal in Dublin
Flowers on the Grand Canal in Dublin

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: An Afternoon of Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin
An Afternoon of Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin
Spend the afternoon kayaking on the Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland. A photo-rich post by Dublin-based travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) from Sidewalk Safari.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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