Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Belfast and a Castle

Well, I realized I never finished the Ireland trip here....  so the last day! (As I can remember it!)

SATURDAY - Belfast and Cabra Castle


So, on Saturday, we woke up and enjoyed our last breakfast in Ballycastle, and then got in the car and drove down to Belfast. I hadn't originally planned on going to Belfast, to be honest. I'd never quite felt pulled to it (for what reason, I don't know), so I'd left it out of my trip planning.

But, after reading the Rebels of Ireland shortly before our trip, I wondered if maybe we could drop it into the itinerary. A friend of mine encouraged us to go and just soak it up a little -- but I wanted to be in Kingscourt by the early afternoon -- so I decided to go, but we only had a few hours.

So... mostly, the plan was to walk around and see what struck our fancy.

Honestly, I really liked Belfast -- way more than I liked Derry, and if I could do that over again, I'd spend a lot less time in Derry and a lot more in Belfast. We went to St Georges Market and walked around a bit -- sort of an indoors Pike Place. There was a guy in the middle playing music and it made me laugh because I knew EVERY SINGLE SONG from Celtic Thunder et al.

After the market, we just sort of wandered toward the middle of town. I thought maybe we might take a Black Cab tour (which we never did) so we headed in the general direction of where I knew we could pick one up.  We walked by a little bakery that had the most delicious-looking treats in the window, so we stopped in for chocolate eclairs and coffee, and took them into the park.

Where we watched the Olympics on a giant TV.

It's probably a good thing I didn't get a chocolate eclair until our last day.  Because it was the bomb and, if I'd known they were that good, I probably would have had one every single day of the trip!

After that, we wandered a bit... stopped into Avoca to do some shopping. Well, I did some shopping.  Joel.... waited patiently.  I hemmed and hawed over this pretty delicate knit scarf from an artist in Wexford.  It was sort of expensive. I didn't really NEED another scarf. But, I remembered what my friend Diana had said to me about souvenirs, and gave myself permission to buy it.  :)

I wanted to give ourselves plenty of time at Cabra Castle (and it was starting to rain) so we said Goodbye to Belfast and headed back to our car.

A couple hours on the freeway (which was an actual freeway!!), and we arrived at our final night's lodging. A night at a castle! Happy me!

This was totally different from anywhere else we stayed.... and I thought it was definitely fun! I'm pretty sure they reserve most of the rooms in the ACTUAL castle for honeymooners and their wedding parties, (plus I'd snagged a reservation pretty late notice), so we were actually in the courtyard -- in what I think used to be the stable quarters.  But it was lovely and comfy and I was happy.

I talked Joel into going on a walk with me through the woods on the grounds...

Joel's never going to go for a walk with me in Ireland ever again. Once we got halfway into the woods, it started to pour... and I do mean pour.  We were totally soaked by the time we got back, and had to sprint across the golf course and parking areas to get back to our room.

We spent our final evening in the hotel pub... We drank at the bar for awhile (took awhile to snag a table) and then had a leisurely dinner. Pizza and lots of Guinness!

And then that was it!

Sunday, we got up early and drove to the Dublin airport.... and home we went. :)

2 comments:

  1. Hooray for fresh Irish eclairs, and for well-bought souvenirs! Joanne, I think you experienced Ireland in a wonderful fashion - enjoying opportunities and soaking up whatever came along. Lol, including the rain. Shocker, a downpour in the middle of the day. :D

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  2. The manager suggested doing a signature cocktail during cocktail hour, which turned to be a huge hit. There is a full bar close to the entrance area, so we were covered there too. Dessert at wedding venues NYC was a presentation of cookies (all looked homemade) and my favorite was the white chocolate, macadamia nut.

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