Liverpool, Belfast,Omagh

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Catching Up

To say I have been remiss would be a bit of an understatement. My last post was from Shrewsbury and I have visited many places and had wonderful experiences since.  I will attempt to do a quick recap, post pics from those places, and hopefully get back on track!

Liverpool was a bit of a surprise.  I headed there, in great part to be able to catch a ferry to Northern Ireland in order to see my dear friends the Kirkpatricks.   I think I had a preconceived notion of Liverpool as a rather rough port town.  Instead, I found a really modern, vibrant city with a fun, well developed port area, and of course lots of references to the Beatles.  I highly recommend the Magical Mystery Tour!

The ferry ride from Liverpool to Belfast took eight hours ... too short in my estimation.  What a pleasant way to travel!  The more time I spend on boats, and the less time in airports, the happier I am.


... and more

For a city with such a troubled history, Belfast is a beautiful city.  I was lucky to be staying within a few minutes walk of the Botanical Gardens. Adjacent to the Garden is the Belfast Museum which houses a stunning display of stoneware, porcelain and glass from 1st century China, to present day Europe and North America.   This diverse museum has compelling sections on both early and more recent Irish history.

There is a pub in downtown Belfast called The Crown, which may be the most beautiful in Greater Britain.  It is designated a British Heritage site due to its extraordinary woodwork.   Apparently the carpenters who worked on the cathedral spent considerable time in the pub, and paid for their refreshments with their skills. 

I was so happy to meet Mervyn, Catherine, and Merv's charming cousin Derrick in Belfast, and to travel with them, first to meet Merv's amazing aunt. She is now 100, and a warm, welcoming and bright lady. It was such a pleasure to meet her, and the rest of the Kirkpatricks who made me feel so at home.

An hour or so later, I was thrilled to be in the midst of Mary's family, at the farm outside of Omagh, which I have heard so much about over the years.

Their kindness and hospitality was immeasurable.  It was so wonderful to be back in the company of Mary, Mervyn,  and Catherine.  To be able to meet the people who are so dear to them, was a privilege!  We spent time enjoying the fabulous coast, sandy beaches, and had really interesting day in Derry! The countryside is spectacular, with more shades of green than you ever thought possible.  I am very lucky and grateful to have had the time there with such kind friends!