15 June 2009

och aye land part 1

Our trip to Scotland was non stop laughter. We had so much fun with our friends we are now plotting our next trip back to Glasgow (next year perhaps).

This was the best flight we have ever taken to Europe because we sat in Business Elite! We couldn't believe it when we boarded the plane-our seats were like recliners and they pampered us big time. One question though-why do people think that if you're vegetarian you like soggy lumps of spinach? Blech!

We flew into Edinburgh with plans of exploring the city for the day before we went on to Glasgow to stay with our friends Maggie and Vikki. Since we only had less than a day to get any sights in we did a cliched tourist thing and did a bus tour.

It's really the best way to see a lot in a time crunch but while we were on the tour (almost all the way through) Katie decided she had to have a nap if she was going to be able to continue on for the rest of the day. Not really having a place to go we just went to the park, sat on a bench and slept for an hour in the sun and woke up to some man taking our picture. Not sure why he did that since we weren't the only people in the park taking a wee nap on the benches. It was mid-day and there were a lot of people out enjoying the nice weather.

Next stop was a museum to get some culture in before lunch. After that we headed to one of our favorite markets for food... Marks and Spencer. Yummy sandwiches, wish they had such good veggie choices in New York.

On the bus tour once again we spotted the place that we had jacket potatoes at 10 years earlier. It was amazing how much we remembered of the city.

We then decided to explore on foot and after walking all over Edinburgh we took a bus to Glasgow. We spent the rest of the evening into the early morning eating and catching up with our friends and laughing. While Maggie went to work the next day, we slept in so we would have energy for our travels to Northern Ireland. Since our ferry didn't leave until that evening we explored the girls neighborhood until we left-there is a flat for rent just two doors down that we would love to have-sigh. While out and about we found Boots straightaway, so it was a successful search of the 'hood.

Once we were off to Northern Ireland it really felt like the vacation had begun. Just four girls in a Mini Cooper driving to Troon to take the ferry to Belfast. Can you say trouble....yes indeed. The ferry was nice and relaxing and we had an incredible view of the sunset.

Our ferry landed in a little village called Larne which was a bit deserted at 11:30 pm. We drove to Maggie's hometown (an hour past Belfast) where we stayed at a very nice bed and breakfast. It was a lovely little village with very friendly people. Especially our hosts at the B&B who Maggie had been texting to let them know we would be late arrivals. We only had the name of the wife-Rita and by 1 am when we just couldn't find the place we called and talked to Rita's husband who came out of his warm home to help us out. We never got his name so he ended up being called Mr. Rita (not to his face obviously). We had more interaction with him that the actual Rita and we started to wonder if she existed.

The next few days were spent in Belfast. Our favorite story from Belfast was when we arrived, again at 1 am-we're never ones for getting anywhere at a respectable hour. It seems like we are always getting to our destinations around 1 0r 2 in the morning. We were going to stay at a hostel and had a bit of a difficultly trying to find it (surprise) when Katie woke up from the backseat to hear Maggie and Vikki arguing over where the hostel could be and saved the day by saying "I'm not sure if this means anything but there is a sign right there that says hostel". It was pointing down a side street where our hostel was located. Vikki was already unsure about the area we were staying in, she thought it wasn't safe enough, and we had to agree once we went to get our room and the guy at the desk was a bit dodgy. Then we saw a pub close to where we were supposed to stay and that was really the end for her. Vikki cried out "There's a man....in a cage!" There was a mean looking guy standing in this cage, smoking and guarding the pub entrance. We weren't quite as freaked since NY has made us a little impervious to such things but it was interesting. We were laughing so hard at Vikki (done out of love) that we forgot to take a picture of it. This photo was found via flickr. After some research we found out that they had had some shootings in the past, hence the reason for the intense security. So instead we ended up totally lucking out and stayed at a house in the university area of the city which was really close to a yummy restaurant where we had brilliant Indian food.

While we were in Belfast we took the bus tour. This is the Europa Hotel, the most bombed hotel in the world.

Parliament was far from the city center but was surrounded by beautiful grounds.

The tour was very interesting but frightening to think of how much the city has been through. Even though there had been "peace" for several years just hearing about the conflicts between the Catholic Republican or Protestant Loyalists was enough to make anyone a little uncomfortable.

After our bus tour we drove to Larne to catch the ferry back to Scotland.

This ride back wasn't quite as smooth and the rocking made us a bit green around the edges (Mamma Mia playing also didn't help) but we manged not to toss any cookies and picked up some new slang on our drive to Tescos for dinner ingredients. "Neds"-we got a little too into this term and were calling everyone a Ned for awhile. Rather than explain what a Ned is go here instead-lovely pictures of their breed-also known as Chav's in England.

Tescos was heavenly and we had too much fun looking at all the options. The place was HUGE! If only we had a grocery store like that in our little patch of Brooklyn.

So, part one is complete and we will certainly be quicker with the rest.

1 comment:

Vikki said...

That man in the cage still cracks me up. You forgot to mention the historic Ikea!

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