Ireland (Part 2)

September 25th: Les and I took the bus up to Belfast for the day. We checked out the Botanic Gardens, explored the Ulster Museum, got milkshakes at Maggie Mays, and walked the streets gawking at statues and buildings.

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The curved iron and glass of the Palm House in the Botanic Gardens.

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There was a beautiful rose garden. We thought of Tess and how she would have loved a picture of every. single. flower.
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Taking time

The Ulster Museum is amazing. It is beautifully laid out. It has a wonderful exhibition of Ireland through geologic time, which I loved. Plus it has a better mummy display than the British Museum! (at least in my opinion).

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Dragons in the entry hall of the Ulster Museum.
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Display of fluorescent minerals.
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Les tells me this phrase is old news, but I thought it was funny so here’s a picture from outside Maggie Mays.
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The marble statue at the Titanic Memorial. It’s Death or Fate holding a wreath above the head of a drowned sailor being held above the waves by two mermaids.

When it started to rain, we called it a day and headed back to Dublin.

September 26th: We went to the Dublin Zoo! I don’t know the last time I’ve been to a zoo….when Vancouver had a zoo in Stanley Park maybe? I thoroughly enjoyed it. The enclosures were so well designed – moats and low fences instead of cages and towering fences.

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The smallest elephant is only 7 months old! We watched as he practiced drinking water.

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The chimp on the right, looking across the moat, is 59 years old.

September 27th: In line with the previous day, we went to another zoo….. the Museum of Natural History (aka the Dead Zoo). It was one of the coolest museums we’ve ever been to. Everything from the old display cabinets to the artistic and historic taxidermy, it was all so captivating.

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Such delicate work

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September 28th: The sun was out so we headed up to Trim to check out the town. It has so much history and ruins! And not only that, it is in a beautiful setting with a river and rolling hills. The Trim Castle is where they shot the movie Braveheart.

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Trim Castle
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We did a tour of inside the keep. Our guide was insanely knowledgeable (or he made it all up). It was well worth the cost (5 euro).
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Inside one of the gates.
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“I wonder what archers did in their down time…”

 

 

 

From the castle, we cruised through some cobblestone streets and stopped to check out the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey.

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St Mary’s Abbey

Further down the river walk, we walked through the ruined Cathedral of Peter and Paul.

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Graveyard beside cathedral

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To wrap up our day in Trim, we stopped for a pint at Marcy Regan’s Pub. The riverside pub has a patio that looks over at Priory of St John the Baptist. It was perfect. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that Ireland isn’t as wet and dreary as it’s reputation would lead you to believe.

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There are sheep grazing! So picturesque!

September 29th: We went with Tina and Jonny to a delicious market in Dublin. I had the 2nd best cinnamon bun of my life (#1 goes to Mum and Dad). This one was made with the right amount of cinnamon (lots!) and with walnuts.

From there, Les and I did a tour of Glasnevin Cemetary. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, it was almost hard to follow. We made so many notes of things to look up (ex. who was Countess Markievioz).

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There are 1.6 million people buried in Glasnevin and 1.3 million living in Dublin.

September 30th: Tina and Jonny were feeling ill and were not able to make the concert they had tickets for. We got to go instead and saw Everlast live! It was awesome! I loved his music in high school and still listen to it today. His voice has only gotten better.

October 1st: Les and I took a bus out to Howth, a suburb of Dublin on a peninsula. Again, it was a beautiful day – slightly grey, but no rain.

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And with that, we packed up and got ready for an early morning trip to the airport. Our next stop is Baku in Azerbaijan.

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Just one final note on Dublin. We found the cheapest and bestest donair near Tina and Jonny’s house. We ate there 4, 5, 6 times? We’re not sure.

 

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