Belfast City and Bus trip back to Galway

Trip Start Jul 01, 2009
Trip End Jul 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Kim and Dave's House

Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Saturday, July 11, 2009

I got to sleep in until 9:30. That was wonderful!!! I then showered and helped Kim get Thomas ready since she cannot do it with only having use of her one arm. I got to be "mommy" for the day. We took the bus into the city and explored from 11-3:30, or so. It was a new experience for me, pushing a baby stroller through a city. I have a newfound appreciation for all of you moms out there! I also had the pleasure of having to change him in a public restaurant. We were making out beautifully until I made the mistake of washing my hands and turning on the hand drier. Thomas just screamed and cried when the noise started! Oops! We ate our lunch in Victoria Square at "Frankie and Benny's." (The food was tasty, the atmosphere very nice, but it was a bit "American" if you cannot figure out judging by its name.) I had a salmon dinner, since it would be my last meal of the day. I really enjoyed it. We are able to stop in to say hello to Dave at work and then went in and out of some shops and I took photos of interesting buildings.
As we were waiting at the bus stop to head back to Kim's, for the first time I noticed policemen in the streets. Monday is the Orangeman Parade, a national holiday. I was told that it can get very violent during that day, so I guess they were starting to step up their presence. After getting back to Kim's I packed up my stuff and chatted a bit more before Dave's mom came and picked me up to drop me off at the bus station.
As we were waiting at a red light I saw two police officers with bullet proof vests running after a boy who appeared to be 14 or so. Off to my left came two other officers who grabbed another boy waiting on the street corner. I heard the second boy mouth the words, "What did I do?" as we drove away from the red light. The officers loosened their grips and let him go and then took after the first boy whom the other two officers had grabbed across the street. I don't know what happened after that, as we were too far down the street.
Belfast's bus terminal is much cleaner than Galway's. However, the people getting on the bus were so rude. Everyone was pushing their way onto the bus. I had been one of the first people in the original line, since I had gotten there early, yet I ended up being somewhere in the middle. The bus was full, so I had to share a seat the whole way to Dublin. Once I boarded the second bus, I did get to have a whole spot to myself again. Our bus driver did have to stop the bus somewhere along the highway on our way down to Dublin and two police officers stepped on. He asked all of us to get out photo ID and then proceeded to walk down through the aisles to check them. My passport was, of course, buried in the bottom of my backpack, so I didn't have it out by the time the officer was at my section. He didn't seem to care and just kept on going. Interesting.
The weather had been gloomy all day, but it never really rained while we were in town. About an hour into the bus ride the rain started to come and didn't stop the entire time. I guess Galway had this kind of weather the entire day. When we got into the bus station at 11:30 I hailed a taxi and he dropped me right off at my doorstep. It was a long journey to take on in such a short amount of time, but I am SO glad that I did it. It was great to visit with Kim and her family and to meet Dave's family. Everyone was so nice and welcoming and so willing to help. The Antrim Coast was absolutely stunning! I recommend it to anyone.
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