Trains, busses and a ferry from Dublin through Wexford to Waterford and on to Pembroke Dock.
Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland – a quaint harbor town lined with pastel buildings and known for Waterford Crystal. Invaded by the Vikings in 914 A.D. – a quick overnight for us on our way to Wales. We stayed the night in the birth place of Thomas Francis Meagher born in 1823 who led an Irish Brigade to help Lincoln in the Civil War and later became the first governor of Montana.
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…
We are on a train bound for Moscow, but will get off and turn left at about midnight, in central Ukraine . That should be fun, because for sure we will have to roust some foreigners out of our seats, and they won’t be happy at Paige!
This train has what it advertises, including live plants in the passageway…… undoubtedly because it is headed to Moscow or Moscow “owns” it.
I’m telling you the farming families work hard… and live in a fairy tale land. My version of Jack and the Beanstalk had pictures of this bucolic, pastoral valley which gave me a good feeling oh so long ago and the memories still do. Well, this is that!
At dark one doesn’t see lights in the farmhouses and villages, but cooking fires… imagine. There are a few, very few, onion domed church spires, dirt roads, flocks of ducks and geese bedding down and as the gloaming fades, ever-darkening shades of green.
It gives every appearance of an agrarian peasant society, perhaps just above subsistence level, with the rotting hulks of failed industrial efforts lurking in the fore and background. Maybe it is all still fall-out from the end of the central government and the planned economy. I wonder which one these farming families would choose?
Further afield the hills grow to mountains which get a lot of snow, which feeds the rivers. I must say again it is beautiful.
Paige is going crazy because this train has a/c, so the windows don’t go down, so she can take no photos. She’ll get plenty of chance tomorrow though……in L’Viv Ukraine.