Monday May 15
Today we were suppose to be in Cork. They are having a storm and the waves are too high to tender in so we are bypassing this port of call. It is too bad as I really wanted to see Cork. So it was a free day at sea. For me it was a time to rest my legs. We wandered around the deck and ended up buying a trip T-shirt. For lunch we went to Crown Grill for an English lunch. Boy, was the line up long. We talked to a few people in line and that made the time go a little faster. It is amazing how many people take lots of cruises. One man is booking his third cruise for this year. We had a great lunch and the waiter took our picture for us. In the afternoon at 2pm we headed to the bean bag toss. We met Dale and Donna while waiting for the game to start and we got on the Gray team. There were 56 people playing on gray and blue teams. The gray team won and the blue team was eliminated. The gray team was divided in half and Terry was blue and Dale and I were gray. The gray team won again and I stayed gray and Dale became blue. The gray won the final round. I won and I am going up for a medal. Opps no medal but a bag clip that I have no use for but Terry thinks he can use in his man cave. The crowds watching were on three floors and down the stairs. Who would of thought so many people would be watching. After we went with Dale and Donna for happy hour in Club Fusion. They are from Los Angeles and have 4 children. After we exchanged numbers we headed back to our room. We are eating too much and decide that we will have pizza for supper tonight. We head to the Explorer’s Lounge for 8:45 to watch “My Wee Island” presentation by Nigel Jess. He was very funny and informative. From here we headed to the theatre for the 10 pm show with Paul Baker. He was a great singer and put on a good show. He sang songs from the shows he has played in Lion King, Les Miserable and many more. On our way back we stopped off at the Explorer Lounge and listened to the Pentatonics. It was a full busy day staying on board and we didn’t rest my feet very much.
Tuesday May 16
We have two days here in Belfast making our first day very relaxing as the boat wasn’t leaving and you could stay out a lot later. We booked a walking tour from Trinity College. What in the world was I thinking doing a walking tour! We had to walk forever just to get to the college and made it there with minutes to spare. The tour was 2 ½ hours long, oh my aching feet, knees and hips. Who in the world said I was still young. I am finding that I am really getting old on this trip. Okay so stop whining just get me a glass.
We met our guide and he took us through the college square and told us about each building, the statues and the history of the writers who graduated from here. Oscar Wilde was a student here. Then to the House Of Lords and history of the many battles that have occurred here in Ireland. This little Island has sure had it’s share of wars with Britain, France, Rome and Vikings. Of course, you can’t be here without going to the pub and we stopped at one that great writers used as it was close to school. Then over to the Dublin Castle where we walked around the outside. We went into the Dublin Gardens and under the plaza is the Black Lake which in the Viking time was a harbor. A river is also underground but when they covered it over they marked it’s direction with different bricks so you can see where it would be. This area is how Dublin got it’s name. Then a few blocks over to Christ Church. Catholics were not allowed here and were considered inferior people. They were not taught to read or write and therefore didn’t need education. Ireland lost most of it’s population because of the black plaque and people immigrating to North America. The population was 10 million and now they are about 3 million.
We then went back to the castle and went into the military square where the secret service offices are, the queen’s throne room (when she is in town) and this is where the British stopped the war by surrendering their flag for the Irish Flag so ending a war. Walked down many cobblestone roads and stopped at a sculpture of Gogarty and Joyce at their table. Then down to Bloom’s hotel in Temple Bar and is covered in huge murals. Then we walked to City Hall and he showed us a place that because of the salt in the water and dirt had saved the wood from a Viking Village. Off to the Wood Quay we saw the original wall that was around Dublin. This was a good place as they had seats and I could sit down, YIPPEE!!! Down the road to Christ Church and people were sitting on the lawns having their fish’n’chips for lunch. We saw the original foundation for the church. Barb got caught taking a picture of a couple eating their lunch. I don’t think they understood her so they probably only spoke Gaelic. We finished our tour with a visit to the old City Hall and it is filled with statues and large pillars. Back to the Dublin Castle to the main courtyard and we ended our tour. we booked this tour on-line before we left home but found out it would have been less if we had paid the tour guide after the tour. Lesson learned for next time, right.
Lunch time so to find a pub – ahhh, we see O’Neill’s and go inside. We run into a couple from the ship who are drinking up a storm. We sit in the bar area and have a drink and fish’n’chips. We shared a plate as they serve so much food. We got two large pieces of fish, chips, mushy peas and salad. We won’t eat again okay so we will keep on pushing it in. Outside we see the statue of Molly Malone or as the citizens call her “The tart with the cart”. We walk back to the shuttle bus and get ready to go back to the ship. Can you believe it we left at 9:00 and it is now 4:00. No wonder I want to crawl onto the shuttle. We walked over 11,000 steps today. A short rest and then we went to the theatre to watch a Gaels Afloat a Irish group with dancers. It was a good show and then to the Island Dining room for supper. Do we really need to eat but we did. We sat with a nice couple from Arizona. There are a lot of Americans on this boat, some Canadians and some Brits and the most from Brazil. Now to bed.