Planes make life a lot easier. It’s nice, somewhat nostalgic, to take trains and ferries and buses to be transported around, but a plane really makes your travel quick and relatively harmless. Though I wouldn’t change our process of arriving in Ireland, the journey did make me appreciate our 3 hour flight from Budapest only a little over a week ago.
We set off from the Isle of Skye to Ireland Friday at 8 AM. Took a ferry over to Mallaig, and a train from Mallaig to Glasgow. Had 3 hours to wander and get dinner in between trains, and then left from Glasgow at 7 PM for Holyhead. Our train was delayed by about an hour, causing us to miss all our subsequent changes. Fortunately, we were able to get on the trains we needed to, but they were overcrowded and we didn’t have seats…so, not the funnest experience.
By 12 AM we had arrived in Holyhead, a port city in England, and waited for an hour to board our ferry over to Dublin.
We booked a private cabin. In our defense, almost twenty-four hours of traveling had used up what little strength we had. The lovely rocking (catch the sarcasm?) of the ferry would have put us into a deep sleep if it hadn’t been for the squeaking bed aggravated by every movement, but we ended up catching a few hours of rest.
DAY – O N E – Dublin
More buses, a taxi, and finally we arrived at our home for the next two days in Dublin. Our host on airBNB was kind enough to let us arrive in the early morn. We slept for a few more ours and set out on a walking tour of the city.
Trinity College, Temple Bar, City Hall…visited all the basics.
Mulch saw my face light up while we passed a theater on our bus ride into town before our tour. The play currently in production? Pride and Prejudice. I am a shameless lover of Jane Austen, and the movie version of this novel as well. Mrs. Darcy…
So, once the tour ended we quickly ate pizza for dinner, ran home to change and headed off to see the play! It was so fun.
DAY – T W O – Dublin
Woke up and had a lovely breakfast prepared by our host. Fresh fruit, homemade granola, yogurt. YUM.
Set out—because when in Dublin—for the Guinness Storehouse. It was like an alcohol amusement park. Just a little. But it was fascinating to learn about the process of beer making and draw the parallels to coffee production. And I had my first Guinness!
Afterwards we visited Trinity College’s museum and saw the book of Kells. Wandered a bit through Temple Bar and downtown. While waiting for a bus to travel back home, we wound up in a 5D interactive adventure theater…we killed an evil shark and finished just in time to catch the bus home. All in a days work.
DAY – T H R E E – Dublin to Belfast
Another yummy breakfast and we left to get our car. So began our road trip! We set out for Belfast and made it there just before noon.
We had booked, at the recommendation of a friend, a “Black Taxi Tour,” which gives you a glimpse into the political history of Belfast. After spending time in a place with a conflict between two groups, it was interesting to see the similarities, and differences, of what took place in Belfast. I think I’ll share more thoughts with you all on that later.
We visited both the Protestant and Catholic sides and saw the wall which closes every night to separate the two groups from one another. We happened to arrive the same day there was a bomb scare on the most popular motorway through the city, so we spent a lot of our time in the Taxi. Our driver Jim was fun to listen to though and we had a good time.
We managed to discover a lebanese restaurant afterwards and felt like we were back at home in Bethlehem. If I closed my eyes I could almost pretend I was in our favorite restaurant, Afteems, spending five shekel on a falafal sandwich. Not five pounds.
I thought it would be fun to see the old Titanic quarter which ended up being a long walk in bad shoes to a deserted shipyard. Ha. Mulch humored me but I’ll admit, it was a waste of time. I just pretended it’s actually where Rose and Jack boarded the ship to make myself feel better. We also came to the conclusion that they could have totally both fit on the piece of wood, or at least taken turns.
Here are some photos of our travels so far. More to come soon!