Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Back in the land of the living

So gave up trying to communicate electronically. Here's a summary of the week! The wedding was nice, and the after-party was in a lovely old mill. Food was good, and the wine flowed all evening. Never mind no WiFi, there was no phone reception at all!!

Next day went for a walk around Tullamore Forest, very nice but soon the rain set in and it lashed it down. Found a corner shop which sells Tayto cheese and onion crisps, the best crisps in the whole world, so I bought loads of packets!!! (Oh and pink lemonade, the Irish do great pink lemonade!) Come to think of it I also stocked up on potato bread, soda and Wheaton bread. You'd think they don't sell food back home!!!!

Monday was a lovely day out in Belfast with a cousin. We went to the Titanic exhibition which was so thought provoking. We always hear about the stories of those who were on board the ship, but this also showed the consequences of those who built the ship, the communities around the shipyard, and footage of the shipwreck.

Lunch was in a fabulous pub called The John Hewitt. I had a perfect pint of Guinness and calamari with spicy noodles. Oh it was really delicious, and a small traditional Irish pub. We were going to go to The Crown Bar, possibly the most famous pub in Belfast, and it is a wonderful pub but a bit touristy now (owned by The National Trust) and I've been there years ago, so a new haunt was great to experience.

After lunch it was time to head down the road to Crumbling Road Gaol. Now this really was an interesting to place to visit because it was a working jail in my lifetime, in fact it only closed its doors to prisoners in 1996! So many famous people have been incarcerated there, many who went on into Irish politics it seems! It was an extraordinary place to go round, and visiting the cell for those who were facing the death penalty was especially poignant. It sounds macabre, but its not, it was really interesting to hear how a prisoner was prepared for his hanging. It was a well thought out procedure, and quite shocking to hear, whilst also making complete sense when you heard it. I would never think about going around a jail as an interesting day out, but the stories we were told by the guide were so interesting, and apparently, former inmates have come back to the jail for a tour, and let the guides in on their secrets, and how they made their escape from the prison! If you are ever in Belfast, take a couple of hours out of your schedule to have a look round, a fantastic insight into what could be considered as modern history.

Then today we headed home (in glorious sunshine!!) Whilst queuing for the ferry home I noticed a battered old truck pull up beside us. People were having their pictures with it, then I suddenly noticed the tattoo on the arm/hand of the driver. I thought I recognise that, it's the guy from boyzone! Yes I shared the ship home with Shane Lynch (no I didn't go and bother him, I'm not a huge fan, and he deserves privacy rather than been pestered by someone just saying hi because he's famous!)

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