Monday, January 30, 2012

northern ireland: a little city, a little country

i finished up editing all my photos from my travels abroad 
i went from 700+ to about 400... still too much to share 
i've been thinking about how to share without an overload of stories and photos 
so everything will be broken up in parts over the week.. 

i hope you enjoy .... 
northern ireland was breathtakingly handsome - from the people, to the food, and the scenery... 
"40 shades of green" they say, but if you ask me i'd say more like 100 shades! i don't know that ive ever seen so much greenery in one sitting. 

we stayed with my stepfather's family in the countryside (carnlough) and they treated us like royalty! ulster fry breakfasts every morning, lots and lots of guinness, and a new home away from home.  they had their own chickens, so we had fresh eggs every morning. its hard to eat eggs now!

the sun would come up at 10am and set around 4pm - short days but what sensational beauty!
when its dark and cloudy, the deep, moody greens run for what seems like forever, 
and when that bit of sun hits the hillsides, those greens are effervescent. its like magic!

we were lucky to not have any rain during our stay, but wouldn't have minded if the clouds had decided to weep a bit. it was cold... oh so cold. but as an ol' wee irish man said to us, "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes" and boy is he right! we packed and dressed the part, so the chill didn't bother all that much.

we spent time in belfast city, where remnants of the many years of war have left their mark on the old buildings, church walls and cobblestone roads. hotel europa is actually the most bombed hotel in the world. it has been bombed 36 times - i don't know that i'd ever want to stay there; not with that luck!

taylor and i did what we love best, wandered down alley's to find those little secret pockets of marvel, had tea and pastries, and had a nice private walking tour and history lesson from my stepfather. we also ran into a priest who was kind enough to share some stories of the good ole days back when he was a wee boy.

everyone in belfast was very kind with lots of stories to tell. those fighting irish sure are proud of who they are and where they came from. they love to talk (but eek! kind of hard to understand), share, and are some of the friendliest people i've encountered.
to see more photos of the countryside and belfast city, please visit my flickr

stay tuned!
tomorrow i will share our visit to the giant's causeway and the carrick-a-rede rope bridge

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