A Travellerspoint blog

April 19-20

Faro, Portugal

overcast

April 19 - 20

Flew from Dublin to Faro, Portugal. We needed some sun to dry out before we conquer more of the Great Britain. Faro is the southern Algarve region of Portugal (see maps). We are staying for 8 nights at Vale Do Lobos Resort. They upgraded our apartment and now we have a beautiful two bedroom apartment with washer and dryer (trust me that is a treat) with a rooftop jacuzzi. Views are amazing. First few days we just settled in and walked around the resort, relaxed.

April 19 Fitbit steps: 12,727

April 20 Fitbit steps: 14,638

Map of Portugal and Algarve Region
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Flight into Faro and drive to resort
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Greeters at the airport.
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Around Vale Do Lobo Resort
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Other greeters at restaurant, seems cats are allowed in restaurants and cafes.
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Posted by mccarthytravel 08:57 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

April 15-18

Belfast - Bangor - Dublin

semi-overcast

April 15-16

On April 15 we started the day by walking down to St. George's Market which is like a farmer’s market/flea market. You can get anything from fresh meat, produce and baked goods to used computers. Our next stop was the Public Records of Northern Ireland for Wanda to do a little genealogy research. Wanda did research for three and a half hours until her eyes were going buggy. Sean took a walk followed up by a nap on one of their sofas. Wanda was able to get a copy of her 4X great grandparents marriage certificate. They were married in Bangor, Northern Ireland in 1848. Spent the remainder of the day walking around the city center.

April 16 we took a bus to Bangor to see the First Presbyterian Church of Bangor, where Wanda's 4X great grandparents got married. We got lucky that an older gentleman was at the church and he took us on a tour. The original church was built in 1623 however it burned down. The current church was built in 1831. We had a beautiful day and from the upstairs windows you can see Scotland. We went to the North Down County Museum and had a fabulous lunch at The Ava. Would certainly spend more time here, especially if the weather is nice.

April 15 Fitbit steps: 17,448

April 16 Fitbit steps: 15,329

On April 17 we drove back to Dubin and on April 18 we did laundry, rented a small storage unit to store some of our luggage and returned the rental car. Explored the North side of Dublin city center.

Images around Belfast
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Lunch - Sean's pizza in the front, Wanda's tiny pizza in the back
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Images around Bangor
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First Presbyterian Church of Bangor where Wanda's great-great-great-great grandparents got married!
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View of the ruins outside the laundry mat in Dublin
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More photos of Dubin
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This photo has a Guinness truck - they haul it around like milk.
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Posted by mccarthytravel 05:07 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

April 13-14

Belfast

semi-overcast

April 13 -14

Drove from Derry/Londonderry to Belfast. Our hotel in Belfast was in the university area but within walking distance to the city center. We purchased a two-day Hop On-Hop Off bus ticket. On the 13th we took the bus through the whole city route so we would have an idea on what we wanted to see on the 14th. We went to a shopping center and Sean lucked out – the Ryder Cup was on display for one day only at that center (left to France the following day). Sean was able to get his photo with the trophy, a golfer’s dream. On the 14th Sean’s first museum of the day was the Titanic Museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast and the city is extremely proud of that fact. The museum is huge with tons of information and very good. Sean’s second tourist requirement of the day was the Crumlin Road Gaol (jail). The jail dates back to 1845 and also held many prisoners from the “troubles” of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. We also saw the wall the separates the Catholic part of the city from the Protestant area. There are 4 gates that open and close the wall. The gates are opened every morning and closed every night. The wall is called the Peace Wall and there are many murals painted on the wall, as well as others throughout the city. We found it interesting to see history that has occurred during our lifetime. People who live in Northern Ireland have told us many tales about the “troubles” with the Catholics and the Protestants and Great Britain. Belfast is an interesting city, it has an old history but seems modern and still trying to reinvent itself.

April 13 Fitbit steps: 12,500

April 14 Fitbit steps: 15,186

Hop On Hop Off Bus Photos
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For all you Game of Thrones fans - the Titanic Studios is where part of the show is filmed. Other parts are filmed in the Dark Forest which is in Northern Ireland as well. The most recent Star Wars was filmed near the Ring of Dingle (next Star Wars will be filmed there as well) and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince had parts filmed at the Cliffs of Moher.
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Titanic Museum
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Ryder Cup
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Peace Gates and Murals
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Crumlin Road Gaol
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This is what happens to Sean when he does not behave.
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Other Images around Belfast
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Posted by mccarthytravel 14:27 Archived in Northern Ireland Comments (0)

April 12

Bushmills Distillery and Giant's Causeway

storm

April 12

Our day started out with a tour of Bushmills Distillery, the oldest distillery in the world with its license to distill dating back to 1608. No photos are allowed inside since it is still a working distillery. After the tour we each were allowed a shot. Good way to start the lunch hour off. Sean had the black label and Wanda had the 10 year. Got to say it was pretty smooth. The weather was rainy and windy so it warmed out insides. Next we went to see the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. It is a famous rope bridge in Northern Ireland that connects tiny islands. The bridge was used by salmon fisherman. We did not cross the bridge because of the weather. To end the tour we went to Giant’s Causeway. It is a rather interesting and amazing site to see. There are thousands of hexagonal interlocking basalt columns. People put coins between some of the rocks and columns, weather and time warp the coins. For those of you that like mythology here is a link on how the Giant’s Causeway got its name. On the way back to the hotel our tour guide took us to a Derry city view point, amazing views even with the weather.

Fitbit steps: 13,847

Bushmills Distillery
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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
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Giant's Causeway
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Giant's Causeway - coins placed between the rocks and columns
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Derry City Views
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Posted by mccarthytravel 12:21 Archived in Northern Ireland Comments (0)

April 10-11

Derry/Londonderry

overcast

Apri1 10-11

Entered Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. We are staying in Derry/Londonderry. Our hotel is about a 40 minute walk along the Foley River to the walled city (aka Derry). You can walk around the top of the wall which provides beautiful views. We toured the Guildhall which still houses city offices. It is stunning with its red sandstone, stained glass windows and carved oak. We went to the Tower Museum which provided us with lots of local history include some information on the Spanish Armada.

April 10 Fitbit steps: 13,869
April 11 Fitbit steps: 17,479

Since we have arrived in Ireland baby lambs have been born. They are so adorable.
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Guildhall
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Views from the top of the wall
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Other images around Derry
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Posted by mccarthytravel 12:43 Archived in Northern Ireland Comments (0)

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