July 23, 2011

Northern Ireland: Belfast and (a little more) Bangor

Colin, the kids, and I popped into Belfast for a few hours one afternoon during our stay in Bangor.  Malcolm, my father-in-law, dropped us off and went away on his own to research the Ashe and Rogers family trees in the public records building.  All of his previous research came in quite handy in conjunction with the family reunion we had the following day (photos below); the family tree is coming together quite nicely with his hard work!

This was our first stop in Belfast.
You know your husband is a scientist when you go out of your way to get a photo of Lord Kelvin!
Appropriate homage was paid.

Last time we were in Belfast (that was 6 years ago, if you care), we passed St. George's Market when it wasn't open, all of the stalls were barren without a soul in sight.  I really wanted to see it bustling and got my chance this trip: stalls of fresh food, stalls of used goods for sale, lots of people.  We got some very delicious bread, "Belfast" loaves, and some fruit while we strolled around a bit taking it all in.  I'd describe it as European market meets Flea Market; it was worth the visit.


From there we made our way to the center of town toward Belfast City Hall and the main avenue, Donegal Place.  The tourist information center is just a few doors up Donegal Place from City Hall; they have lots of info and fun souvenirs.

Elizabeth was trying to take a picture and captured this fine fellow.

After we tired of being in Belfast, we took the train back to Bangor (I dozed for most of the trip ... I really enjoyed being in NI, but I was "knackered" for most of the trip - silly pregnancy), had a rest, and then spent some time down on the coast near Maurice and Mina's.  They live in such a fantastic location.


You've likely noticed from our attire that it has not been a particularly warm summer there this year.  The highs hung between 58 and 60 most of the time, with one or two warmer days.  Thankfully, we didn't really get much rain.  You can do most things when it's chilly, but not so much when it's pouring - and we only got one day like that.  The luck of the Irish was with us, I guess.

Perhaps you have figured it out, but the main reason we visited Northern Ireland is that it's my in-laws homeland ... and they foot the bill for our flights, yeah, that helped a lot.  (Thank you!)  Colin was born in the US, but their families are all still in Northern Ireland.  You'll get to "meet" some of Gladys' side of the family in the next post, because there was a family reunion!

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