On day four we mostly planned our stay in Northern Ireland. We used our mobile internet traffic to browse the interwebs for things to do. We spent the afternoon on a walk to Prehen Woods, a small patch of forest 30 minutes on foot south of Derry. The way there was marked by a beautiful motorway and a boring residential area. The forest itself was completely lacking people which was a good thing. Not the most exciting forest, but relaxing nonetheless. All the pictures were done on analog cameras, they might follow once I cleaned my dev stuff and got some development going.
The next day we got up early and took the bus service to Belfast. We saw a church thing that might actually not be a church but more of a thing.
We went on a saturday. Which brought the big advantage of being able to visit a lovely food market. It featured some grocery stands but mostly freshly prepared food. And fish.
And lovely baby clothing.
We ate breakfast/lunch (someone should invent a word for that) consisting of a beef steak bap (which is like a regular burger) and some paella. Both dishes were really good. Unfortunately there was not so much space available to sit down, which was a bit of a downer. But then again a great band played some relaxed jazz/reggae/rock.
And so many cupcakes everywhere. Note the boxes on the side containing another truckload of fancy decorated cupcakes that drown in colored icing, silver pearls and colorful sprinkles. Of course we didn’t buy any as we both preferred taste over looks, and sugar icing and sugar pearls and colorants just don’t taste that great.
As we went back outside to stroll around the city, it started to rain. Constant, annoying, wet, pouring, mean rain.
Not even a giant herring could cheer us up.
As an emergency solution we did a boat tour of the harbor with this lovely tiny boat.
The boat instantly pleased by being kind of indoors and with chairs.
This are the Titanic Studios, where Game of Thrones is made. Also a lot of the exterior settings are actually located somewhere in Ireland. A good choice by HBO to produce the series on this beautiful island.
The harbor looked like a harbor, with docks and stuff. Somewhere in this harbor the Titanic was built by Irishmen before it was sunk by an Englishman, as the locals never cease to point out. “She was fine when when she left us.”
I am enjoying myself so much. And my raincoat was basically useless as it just soaked up all the water and kept it around me.
In this dock the Titanic or the sister ship Olympic or maybe some completely unrelated ship was built. The guide was fun, I guess, as we could hardly understand him. But he sounded nice.
Doro has a bit more fun than me as she actually brought proper rain clothing to the land of everlasting rain.
Navy seals hiding on the bank.
They built an impressive giant thing that was quite big. I have about a million pictures of it, but I only show you this one because I am a good person.
And by the end of the tour the sky cleared up and the rain stopped. Big success.
We enjoyed the little tour a lot, not only because it provided shelter from the rain, it was also interesting to see the docks, the size of the machines and hear a bit about the story of the harbor. We saw “THE TITANIC EXPERIENCE” (yes, it has to be all caps and be read in a deep dramatic voice) which is just a fancy wording for museum that features stuff around the Titanic. The interesting thing about the building was, that the top edge of it was constructed in a way that it would be exactly the height of the nose (technical term for the front thingy of a boating machine) of Titanic. The building was quite tall. But I did not find a picture of it in the folder. Can’t be that interesting then.
We said goodbye to the lovely boat people and their boat and went on.
We then finally did some city strolling. Unfortunately Belfast is quite boring on a saturday night if you are not interested in spending a lot of hard earned money on beer in small bars full with people. The shops close at very early, the pubs are expensive.
We saw this cathedral. Its tower has been blown away by the IRA and was not rebuilt. Instead, to appease the situation a sky needle was constructed.
Before the shops finally closed we jumped into an outdoor supply store and looked for a rain jacket that would actually repel rain instead of sucking it all up and using it to chill the body down to cozy 12 degrees Kelvin. We were so lucky to find a big rack of jackets on sale and after trying on several different options Doro bought me a very nice Northface jacket that I then wore for the rest of the holidays.
After nightfall we got on the bus to Derry and went home.