21.05.2012 - 21.05.2012 68 °F
May 21st, 2012
Rainy. Wet. Cloudy. Fitting weather for leaving a place with so many good memories. It's a really handy thing we bought that umbrella too. It's coming down good as we say goodbye to the Carini guesthouse and make our way to the bus stop. Though our flight is at 10:55, we are leaving at 6:30 to the bus just to be safe. Nicole and I are sad to leave, but also happy we are going to a country that speaks and writes in English. The language barrier is exhausting. Case in point. At the train station we needed to find out how to catch the bus to the airport. I knew from my research the night before that it was here somewhere but in usual Italian style, it wasn't marked anywhere. We were also at the station early enough that none of the stores or information desks were open. We still had plenty of time, but it is very frustrating not finding help and not being able to read. After 20 minutes of increasingly stressful search, I asked a police officer who spoke english well enough to get the meaning across. We bought tickets and were able to get to the airport an hour early.
As we were approaching Ireland by air, I remember a strange feeling that came over me. Nicole liked Italy so much, and Ireland was my favorite place last year. What if it did not live up to last year's fun? What if all my talking about it is proven wrong? This is how much I want Nicole to love Ireland. The trouble is that we are going to northern Ireland first, which is part of the United Kingdom. I know from reading that they are more modern up there and less traditional. This has me worried, but we'll just have to see how it goes. When we landed and were in the Dublin terminal, all the memories of the trip Casey and I took washed over me. I started dancing a little jig and singing nonsense songs about how much I love Ireland. We found the bus no problem thanks to an ENGLISH speaking help desk lady and were on our way to Belfast. We have been so blessed with good weather. The forecast shows dry and sunny for our stay.
At the bus station in Belfast, we decided to just walk to our bed and breakfast. It was only 2 miles and we seriously are experts. It's so interesting to see orange on all the churches instead of green. I have read that not even 20 years ago, it was dangerous to travel to Belfast with all the religious violent outbreaks between Northern Ireland and the Republic (south Ireland). It was a straight shot to our place and easy to find. The owner talked to us for quite a bit about how the young Irish were leaving in droves to work in booming Australia. He directed us to a fish and chips place that we knew we would have to try eventually. After Nicole asked, he also let us wash our clothes. We are saved! We were on our last bit of clothing and all was starting to smell a little stale. When that ran and we had hung up our clothes to dry, we laid down for a little nap. This little nap lasted until the following morning .