Let’s just say that we made it. I’m sitting in front of my tv watching good old American football while I finish this post up. I’m just now starting to get my appetite back after losing 10lbs the wrong way.
We’ve had a good weekend just trying to recoup after a very rough trip home.
I wanted to thank everyone for following along with us on our trip. We enjoyed reading all of the comments and emails that we received along the way. Thanks for checking out Sara’s facebook galleries and praying for us each day.
After getting back onto the right side of the road I can’t believe we made it two weeks unscathed. Our smallest roads are so wide, we really take them for granted.
Thank you all, we had a wonderful time!
Look for more photos soon.
High class, lay-overs, lay-overs, lay-overs oh my!
Okay first off, we didn’t sleep last night. We went to what we both thought was our favorite place to eat last night in Navan. I had a steak and got food poisoning or my nitrates aversion kicked in around 12:30am and I got deathly ill. I passed out twice while the head hovered over the bowl. I spare most of the gory details. Suffice to say I wanted to not be in Ireland anymore. Problem was I was so sick I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the flight let alone drive us to the airport since Sara couldn’t do it!
But come morning, I forced myself to shower and get ready to fly. It was the worst traveling experience ever! I’m not a big fan on airplane toilets to begin with, but after three different flights I’ve become intimate with them all. And just in case you ever decide to travel and our on a big plane, there is usually a handicap bathroom, use it the extra 2 square feet really help.
We made it through four airports, many security checkpoints, and numerous bathroom breaks. Sara’s parents picked us up at midnight at the Pittsburgh Airport.
After a strange dinner and a good nights sleep we took off from Keef Halla outside of Belfast early on a sunny morning. We decided to just drive through Belfast since there isn’t much we could find to explore there. It’s mostly a ship building town, the Titanic was built there, and it’s pretty industrial. On our way through though we did run across “The Pittsburgh Bar and Grill” in the middle of Belfast! It’s a shame it was early in the morning or else I would’ve stopped in for a pint and a gab with the bar keep.
After a quick drive through Belfast we made it on south heading towards Dublin. We stopped off to see Monasterboice which is a round tower and grave site. This one is particular though is special because it holds Ireland’s highest and nicest of the high crosses. These large crosses were carved by hand centuries ago. They are very impressive. It was a small place off the beaten path and there wasn’t many people around.
Next we headed to county Meath to see Newgrange. It’s a neolithic tomb built a long time ago. You may not of heard of it but just to give you some perspective, “Newgrange was originally built between c. 3300 and 2900 BC, which means that it is over 5,000 years old. It is more than 500 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, and predates Stonehenge trilithons by about 1,000 years.” – wikipedia. It was a very impressive site, and we got a tour and even got to go inside the tomb. It’s a tight squeeze so make sure your trim American form is ready to make it!
After this we tried to make it back into Dublin because the National Library was open until 4:30. I wasn’t able to do any Murphy surname research the first time we were in the city because of the weekend, but it was Thursday so we had a chance. Big mistake!! Not only did it take forever to get into Dublin during pre-rush hour. It took even longer getting back out to the ‘burb of Navan where we were staying that evening! Oh, well you live and learn.
Still a fun day, and the weather was nice to us.
Only a few more days to go and we are just turning the corner on Ireland’s full circuit. Sara and I keep just pinching ourselves at all of the amazing sites we’ve seen and things we’ve done over the past two weeks. It has really been a fantastic time.
Today we drove along the northern coast to see the remains of the famed Dunluce Castle. It was very cold and windy but kept you on your toes not knowing if you were going to fall into the sea with the remains.
Then we drove to the Giant’s Causeway and walked its geometric shaped steps into the sea. We ended up picking up a nice little water color painting on the Dunluce Castle while we were at the Giant’s Causeway visitor’s center.
After that we went to Bushmill’s Distillery for a tour and some whiskey tasting just to see how much hair Sara can grow on her chest. She wimped out and got a hot toddy instead of the standard glass of whiskey, but honestly I don’t blame her. My gums are still numb.
Then we traveled to a small town in the area called Dunseverick to find an old Protestant church that my friend from work has ancestors buried in. Unfortunately the weather turned very bad on us and it started snowing! I did see three head stones with the McCurdy name but the gates were closed and I was getting soaking wet.
Finally we had planned to walk the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge but due to the precipitation we couldn’t do it. It was a very cold day. I wish we could say that our holiday is ending with a bang, but more Ireland is kicking us out and sending us home cold and with nothing left in our pockets.
I’d like to say tomorrow will be great, but the weather forecast isn’t in our favor and we aren’t sure that we are going to follow through with our final plans if it’s going to rain on us all day long.
We are both coming home with a sniffle and a sour throat to give to everyone. Cheers!
Onward north! Today we make our way into Northern Ireland for the first time. We paid for our meals last night in cash so that we won’t have too many euros to exchange because northern Ireland uses British pounds as currency. We’ll be in northern Ireland for a few days time visiting sites.
This morning we left our little B&B in Sligo. Before leaving the town of Sligo we drove around the town to some scenic viewpoints. I got attacked by a swan at the edge of a lake and decided that was enough of that view.
Then we started towards the north. We went out of our way to see the ocean at Mullaghmore and then again at Bishops View both along the coast on our way to Londonderry.
We got into Londonderry or just Derry, depending on which of the locals you ask, at around 1pm. We parked our car and got out to stretch our legs by walking the Derry wall. This is the only fully walled city in Ireland and it is spectacularly maintained. Half way around the wall we took a detour out to Bogtown which is part of Londonderry where the troubles took place. Those that have been around long enough couldn’t go an evening or two without hearing about northern Ireland on world news in the late 70’s and through the 80’s. We got to see all of the Bogtown Murals that were painted in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. It’s hard not to walk through this section of town humbly humming Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 in your head. It was quite amazing.
Then we got back to the wall and finished up the loop just under two hours walking. We got back in our car to head to Coleraine for the evening. Our Guest house is so large, we can see why people spend a week in this place. Our room has its own kitchen and living space with three beds total. It’s bigger than our first apartment and much nicer than our castle stay from the other night.
We had a good meal and plan on turning in soon. Tomorrow will be a packed day of more beautiful and strange landscapes. And hopefully some free whiskey tastings!