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the North

Rosemary and Kevin are to be married in Mulinavat, Co Kilkenny on Saturday July the 16th, 2018 and we were invited. Always a fun trip to visit the extended Malone’s in Ireland and we decided to add to it by doing a loop through the North before settling into Co Kilkenny for the festivities.

We bid on an upgrade for the flight into Dublin and were lucky enough to get it accepted. Rose loved that and we made the most of the lie flat seats as we winged the night into Ireland.

Rose all settled into her Aer Lingus seat.

Picked up a car and headed a short distance north for our first night’s stay with friends Ann and Mark.

Ann & Mark’s house near Drogheda.

Their house encompasses old and new. History for the original buildings and modern comforts for the main block.

Staircase or bookshelves?
Medieval inner courtyard …….
Potential for a character rejuvenation.
View out of our delightful bedroom.
Preparing for dinner in the kitchen.

Thanks for the welcoming supper and breakfast sendoff as we followed the M1 north over the seamless border and on to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Had a hotel room close to downtown so that we could ditch the car for a few days and exercise the legs for a while.

The Big Fish representing the regeneration of the River Lagan that runs through the city and empties into Belfast Lough.
Simply color and balance.
The Spirit of Belfast – oblique sculpture surrounded in controversy.
A dash of color
Memorial clock tower.

The crown jewel for the Belfast tourist is the Titanic Museum celebrating Belfast’s glorious industrial days with the launch of Titanic on Friday May 31st, 1911. She had two sister ships built at the same time, the Olympic and Britannic.

The museum is located “on” the original slipway and one of the glass galleries looks out to the river as if you are standing on deck about to be launched.

Museum with a photogenic caisson from the time in the foreground.
Impressive.
Entrance to the museum itself.
A token of what was inside. You’ll have to visit yourself for the real experience.
Ready to launch!

Being tourists in Belfast for a day we jumped on the double-decker bus for a narrated tour of the cities highlights.

Government buildings with the six columns representing the six counties of North Ireland.
Plenty of British flags in the Ulster sections of the city showing their support for the UK.
More flags.
Plenty of wall murals abound with this one celebrating the construction of Titanic.
Girl with the ring, one of many descriptions.
Row houses.
Mural. Searched, but could not find a description.
Bobby Sands, died while on a hunger strike in prison.
After the exhaustive tour time for a pint.
Never seen this on a wine bottle before.
Dinner at “Made in Belfast” restaurant.
Fish and chips accompanied by mushy peas and a curry sauce in the blue bowl – delicious!
Next morning on the way out we took a walk in the forest around Belfast Castle.
The castle.
To all cat lovers.
Could stay there ….

The Dark Hedges, an avenue of Beech Trees – On the way up to the north coast so we took a stop to see them ourselves and made a note to watch an episode of Game of Thrones.

Dark Hedges.
Dark Hedges.
Rose’s view down the avenue.

After the hedges we approached Ballycastle and headed east of the town following the signs to Torr Head. The road soon narrows down to a single lane but be ready for the car coming towards you and remember to hug the left side and carefully breach the grass verge to allow you both to pass each other without your side mirrors kissing each other.

Torr head is an outcrop giving one great views of the coastline and countryside.

Torr Head is behind me and this is the road we came down.
Coastline, fields and stone hedges.
One of the many ways to hop over a fence.

Next day we tackled the “Rope Bridge” originally constructed to allow fishermen access to nets and traps off a small island. Times change, the fish are not plentyful but tourists have taken their place and pay $ to walk across, snap selfies, and admire the views.

Coastline on the walk to the bridge.
The Rope Bridge with docents on either side to enforce a one way traffic and watch for nitwits trying to rock the bridge.
Gives you a better idea of the island and it’s bridge.
That’s Scotland over there on the blue’ish horizon.
Just chilling out.
Categories Trips

4 thoughts on “the North”

  1. Beautiful photos of a place I hope to visit one day. It’s on the “Top Five” wish list. I am curious, how does one “bid” on an upgrade? Is there a website like priceline? It sounds intriguing…

    1. Suzanne, if you ever plan on visiting give us a shout. Rose’s family are from Kilkenny area and we’ll give you whatever help we can.

      Aer Lingus have a direct flight from LAX to DUB which is nice. If you book coach, depending on how full they are, they will send you an email inviting you to make an offer on an upgrade to business class. There’s no hard price and the minimum bid for one leg is around $900, a splurge but what the hell you only live once!

      1. Okay, thanks, Andre! I recently had my first priceline.com experience where I got flights for half price 2 days before flight time, so now I am “all about the bidding.” haha! Thanks for the reply.

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