Saturday, April 24, 2010
Travel log 2
After our day trips we went on a small tour. First we headed up to Northern Ireland which wasn't demarkated at all. We only knew we were there because of the drastic improvement in road quality and signage. We stopped for lunch at the very beachy resort town of Portrush. We had a lovely time there as the sun was warm and hot, the sand was gorgeous and people were swimming. In fact we're not exactly sure why they were swimming as the North Atlantic is F***ing (note: this is my first time swearing in the blog, but the adjective was required) cold in April.
From there we proceeded to the Giants Causeway, for some lovely scenery and interesting geological formations (see previous post for photo). Then we spent the night at a construction site on the side of the road outside of Derry or Londonderry (depending on your colours, we'll put Derry first, since we're living in Ireland). We'd pre-booked our hotel, so we weren't aware of the construction site. However, the hotel did have a lovely children's pool and Nikolai had a fabulous time.
It was Sunday night, and Sunday night in Derry meant that most everything... including many restaurants, were closed. We had an interesting dinner at a very popular "Chinese" restaurant. Our meals weren't quite what we expected, but it was a very kid-friendly place and Nikolai got a great take-home gift of a key chain/flashlight/compass. In Derry we did manage to see some politicized graffiti and a really beefy cop car, but otherwise our sojourn to Northern Ireland was completely safe. (However, I will admit that the news the next morning did mention a bombing in Northern Ireland, which was probably as more excitement than my Dad would enjoy.)
The next day we drove through the bog mountains in Donegal to my sought out destination of the famous woolen mills. At Studio Donegal my mom and I bought sweaters. Then I dragged everyone out to a factory where I was able to buy heaps of wool at rock bottom prices (€1.70 per 100g). I bought enough to make Brad 3 sweaters... and that's A LOT of wool. I figure the trip was educational for Nikolai... but the dander from all that wool did have my mom's asthma working up!
From there we did a marathon drive to Galway, for which Nikolai was very patient... up until we got very lost entering the city. (Maps and road signs don't often align in Ireland... then try throwing rush hour traffic and one way roads...) After 1/2 hour of driving into the city, I saved Nikolai from the car. My mom, Nikolai (in the ergo) and I hiked to the hotel and made it there just before Panda and Brad in the car.
For those who don't know... a few of Nikolai's first miss-pronunciations have persisted, and Panda instead of Grandpa is one of those. More stories of Galway to follow.
Picture: You can see how happy the sheep in Ireland are... these guys were just around the corner from the woolen mills.