Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Post Van the Man and the next day....

We got back to Ennislare House after the Van Morrison show without incident.  I even managed not to fall in the slush or get my feet soaked in the puddles.

We got up on Monday, had breakfast and planned our day with Ann's help.  She offered to drive us up the hill and suggested we take the train into Belfast from there.  She recommended that we take the bus tour of the city.  So that is exactly what we did.  Like New York, the tour bus was a double decker.  Unlike New York, the train was clean, beautiful, on a schedule, and on time.  It was a other cold and wet day so the bus had plastic up where the 'open' part would normally be. It was impossible to take photos but I took some anyway through the too thick plastic and the rain drops.

The tour guide on the bus excursion presented a balanced view of  the issues that plagued Belfast.  He did not 'lean' in either direction.  Mostly he described all the steps that are being taken to create a lasting peace. One of the solutions to getting everyone on the same team was to a tally create a team - a hockey team. The plan was to have players from all over forge ahead as a united front with fans  routing them on. It was a good idea in theory but it seems that 80% of the team is Canadian and 10% is American. Hopefully that last 10% are creating the bond that was the original intent.

At the end of the bus tour we went into The Crown Bar and shared a 'Stew and Stout' before getting on the train back to Ennislare House.  We spent some time enjoying the house and eventually went back up the hill and back to Ava for dinner.  We really are creatures of habit.  Actually, the food was really good and we just wanted more!  We went back up the hill, hung out in the common room for awhile and called it a night.

Northern Ireland is beautiful.  The signpost when we crossed into Northern Ireland had the Northern part crossed out in black magic marker, which I found interesting. 

The Irish do have a way with words.  All the hostilities and fighting and bombings and killings are referred to as 'The Troubles'.   World War II is referred to as 'The Emergency'. You have to love their gift for turning a phrase.

We didn't spend as much time as I would have liked in the North, but I do hope to come back again. I would also like to learn a bit more of the history so I am better informed when I return.

P.S. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors and/or auto-correct. I usually preview my posts and read through them but I am having Internet issues so it is posting as is.

I hope you are having a great day! 

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