We’ve woken up in Ireland.. We both slept like logs and woke up at a civilised time and just lazed about a bit. Breakfast today isn’t till 8 so we chilled a bit and both caught up with some writing before heading down. I have to tell you, this was the cheapest accommodation so far and the best. It cost 45 Euro and breakfast was included. We headed into the dining room and saw cereal out on the bench, so figured that was breakfast. We’ve had to pay extra everywhere else for a cooked breakfast, with only toast, cereal or pastries offered as the free breakfast.
We sat down with our cornflakes when a young girl came around and asked if we’d like a pot of tea.. Nice… Then she said.. and what would you like for breakfast? Mmmm okay.. so we agreed to the traditional breakfast and finished our cereal anyway. A few minutes later she brought a steaming hot, large pot of beautiful tea out to us. Oh this was divine. A little while later she bought our breakfast.. It was huge… Two sausages, 4 big bits of bacon, a large serve of scrambled egg and 2 large pieces of grilled tomatoes. This is what I expected of Ireland. It was delicious!!!
After our leisurely breakfast, we went out for a brief walk around the area and found a “posh frock” shop. We went back and packed our cases, planning on taking a hop on hop off bus tour around Belfast. Being a Sunday, nothing much opened until later, so Theodore phoned the Welcome Centre to see if we could leave our cases there while we explored. They weren’t answering though.. So we took our chances and headed over to the bus stop.. We waited and waited and the bus was running very late, according to the timetable.. A young girl who was waiting too started talking to us and we decided we would take a cab in.
She phoned for a cab and we walked a bit down the street to get it. Of course, as soon as we walked away, the bus came but so did our cab, so we all jumped in and headed into the city.. To our surprise, we found out that Belfast had a St Pat’s day parade happening within minutes as they didn’t get the day off for the celebration. We got there just at the tail end of it which was really disappointing.. I couldn’t get up the street through the crowds with suitcases to try to see it. But it was still fantastic to be amongst the celebrations. Regardless of which side of the country you live in Irish pride is obviously still strong.
We went into the visitors welcome centre and enquired about a bus down to Dublin. She told us where to get it, so we walked over there planning to just book our ticket and leave our bags but suddenly we both just wanted to get to Dublin. I would have loved to explore a bit more of Belfast but the calling for Dublin was too strong, so we jumped on the earlier bus which left in 10 minutes. The worst part of the trip was trying to lift our cases up into the luggage hold as it wasn’t underneath the bus as we’re used to. We managed.
It was only a 2 hour bus trip to Dublin and I gazed out at the countryside in between processing a few more photos while Wendy nodded on and off. We were in Dublin before we knew it. We didn’t want to try to find buses so went to the taxi rank. Once we established that he would take English pounds (not all do-the differences in money is a pain in the bum) we jumped in. The car was like an old family sedan. It was smelly too lol. But the cab driver was friendly and talkative and told us we were staying at one of the nicest hotels in Dublin. As he drove us through the streets we chatted away about our family history with Ireland.
I looked out the window and realised I was driving past Molly Malone’s statue and started to get all emotional again. You see, Cockels and Mussels, the song about Molly, was the very first song I ever learned. It was also the very first song I ever performed publicly, albeit in front of the junior section of Norlane Primary School when I was in Grade 1. The song still, after all these years, is not only a favorite of mine but still sends shivers up my spine when I hear Ruby Murray’s rich, lilting voice singing it. I practised over and over to get my version to sound the same, even mimicking the echoey part at the end, when Molly dies. (sorry for the spoiler lol) I have to go find her today and give her a kiss and say thank you for the music.
A bit further along, we pulled up at our hotel. I was pleased to get out of the smelly cab but had enjoyed the drive with the lovely driver. Bewley’s hotel is stunning. It used to be a jewish school and has been transformed into an upmarket hotel in the more expensive area of town. This is the most expensive accommodation we’ve booked but we didn’t have much choice with it being St Pat’s Day weekend. It is just beautiful and we really don’t mind the extra.
We didn’t even unpack here, just made a quick cuppa, then went looking for food. A fair walk down the road we found a Tesco supermarket and bought some pate, cheese, crackers, dips and a bottle of wine and settled in for a feet up feast. We watched the Irish version of the Voice and I think Wendy was fast asleep by about 8pm. I sat up a bit longer writing and then also headed to bed, exhausted but ecstatically happy.