Co. Tyrone on Lough Neagh

Trip Start Aug 22, 2009
Trip End Apr 07, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Saturday, November 7, 2009

this weekend a guy in my class invited all the 3rd years up to his parents house in northern ireland for his birthday. i got a lift up with a few friends from uni and we met the other 7 cars at a mcdonalds just over the border before heading off the highway to try to find his house. we got lost, a few times, i think we all did 4 or 5 u-turns and the leading car kept pulling over to let someone slightly less lost go in front! but we eventually made it there. the house was amazing, it used to be lord someone's summer residence and was a very impressive georgian manor. there was 11 bedrooms (used to be 16 but they merged some cause it just wasn't necessary to have 16 bedrooms in a 5 person household), at least 3 kitchens, an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, 2 lakes, stables, gate house and a big fountain in the courtyard. and it was all furnished in antique/period furniture. we'd all heard about it from some people who'd been there before and i definitely wasn't disapointed! the party was really fun and then we all slept in a few of the spare bedrooms or on the floor/couches. the girls were in "the outhouse", a seperate cottage accross from the main house. outside the front door was an old fashioned water pump and just inside the door was an antique sewing machine, we were a bit offended! i think there was about 20 of us squeezed into the 2 bedroom cottage! in the morning the 40-ish architecture students started on a breakfast of toast and left over champ (mashed potato) before stephen's mammy came down (via the grand staircase in the turret over looking the courtyard) and pulled out fruit salad, fresh scones and starting cooking sausages! after brunch we took a leisurley turn around the garden and explored the estate which was most delightful, they had the most exquiset views over lough neagh and towards belfast. we left around 1pm and went to a nearby shopping centre to enjoy the cheap northern prices. about 10 minutes later (while driving through some grogeous irish countryside) a warning light came on the dashboard of elaine's mammy's little bmw so we pulled into the next service station. turns out there was an obscenely flat tyre which was supposed to be self inflating so there was no spare (seems like a similar kind of logic that the designers of the titanic used!) so after calling elaine's dad and the irish version of the racq, splurging on some ridiculously cheap chocolate, pulling the sleeping bags out of the boot and sitting at newry service station for about an hour and a half we decided to empty the rest of the boot to find the air pump. then pumped up the tyre and sat there for another half an hour to make sure it wouldn't deflate again we slowly made our way back to dublin!
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