Dublin: Grimmy, real, a wee bit dirty, exciting, lively, historic, stunning architecture, beautiful, Guinness, Temple Bar, River Liffy, pubs and more pubs, captivating!
We visited a young friend of ours who is getting his masters at the University of Dublin and is playing basketball with a local pro team. With him we went to Parliament and had lunch with Eamon O’Cuiv (a member and grandson to the first president equivalent of Ireland).
We day tripped to the town of Ballinasloe to look for records about my great grandfather who was born there in 1875 and lived until he immigrated to America in 1911. Ballinasloe is famous for being the home of the oldest fair in Europe – the horse fair which we missed this year by one week.
Stopped by Guinness which started in 1759 at St. James Gate Brewery where it continues today. We’re now Guinness pros!
Glasgow to Ayr by train – bus to Cairnryan, Scotland and…
ferry to Belfast.
Today trendy, touristy and hip but filled with a tumultuous past. Often referred to as “the troubles” the Catholics and Protestants fought hard from 1969 to 1998 (with sporadic turmoil until 2015).
In 1998 there were only 4 hotels – the Europa was and is the most bombed building in Europe – today a mighty 45 hotels stand proud and Belfast is touted as the 2nd safest city in the world next to Tokyo.
Still today 48 peace walls separate Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods – 25′ high up – some up to 3 miles long stretching a total of 21 miles.
Although peace is in the air the embers still are smoldering…