Early to bed as most of our bags need to be out at 4:15 AM! Yikes!
We spent our final night in the regal Cabra Castle outside Kingscourt. We arrived mid afternoon and had the opportunity to enjoy the grounds and facilities before our farewell dinner. We've had lovely hotel accommodations the entire trip, but this place tops them all!
Some final facts about Irelqand from friend and fellow traveler Lyn Whaley
*unemployment today is 8.6%
*average income is € 30,000/year
*Ireland is one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world
*10 cigarettes cost €15, but we still see a lot of people smoking
*tillable land costs about $ 5, 000/acre. Most of it remains in families 200-400 years
*the average home costs about € 200,000
*the average age in Ireland is 35
*Ireland was neutral during WWII.
We head for home in the morning. We look forward to sharing photos and memories of this trip as well as traveling together again!
Into Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. This city was one of the industrial poorhouses of the last century with the largest linen, rope and shipbuilding facilities in the world. The Titanic was built here so it's home to the Titanic Experience, Northern Ireland’s most visited attraction. This is more than a museum, it is a beautiful building and a real EXPERIENCE
During our guided tour we heard of the struggles in this great city’s history as you pass through the different neighborhoods. Even though there's a peace agreement and cease fire, the animosity between the Catholics and Protestants is still apparent in the wall murals that appear throughout the working class neighborhoods.
In contrast to the working class neighborhoods, the central city is bustling and affluent.
Change of plans - we were to visit Bushmills and the Giant Causeway tomorrow, but the Queen will be visiting both places then. This is the UK, so she does take precedence. No problem, we were getting a bit "bus weary" anyway, so adjusted our schedule.
We skipped the Inishowen Peninsula and Malin Head and headed to Bushmills and the Giant Causeway today. Here are some photos from Bushmills...
Late this afternoon we'll have a T'nT surprise when our group gathers to enjoy a complementary drink of Bushmills before heading into Deery for dinner at a local “farm to table” restaurant featuring locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. I'll post photos of that as well as the Giants Causeway later...
Yesterday started with a visit to Bushmills, followed by the Giant's Causeway, a basalt feature and the only World Heritage site in Northern Ireland. Formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago, the causeway resembles a cobbled road leading into the sea.
A feature of our trips is the occasional T'nT Dynamite Surprise. Last night Terry J and I treated the group to a Bushmill's cocktail party before dinner. Great fun with a great group of travelers!
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