Saints Day in Downpatrick!

Trip Start Nov 01, 1995
Trip End Dec 21, 1995

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Saturday, December 2, 1995

Today Shannon decided to stay at the cottage (she went for walks, went to the friary nearby, watched TV and wrote letters).

Tom, Jess and I  drove up to Northern Ireland, passing through Newry.  Newry still has the checkpoint for crossing the border, but these days you just drive around it.  It's still rather intimidating, with all the barbed wire, the communications network, and the heavily defended police stations.

We had forgotten that, essentially, we were going back into Britain, but luckily we had our English currency in the glove box.

Our first stop was at Downpatrick where we found St Patrick's grave.  We were surprised to find that St Brigid and St Columba were also there - re-interred with him after being taken from their original graves - all 3 saints in one grave!!

We drove on to Strangford, at the mouth of the Strangford Lough, and caught a ferry over to Portaferry, then continued on to Ballyhalbert where one of Tom's great-grandfathers came from. We found lots of Thompsons in their cemetery, but no Youngs.

We returned to Portaferry where we went to their aquarium - it was really good.  They have a special area with sea life just from the Strangford Lough.  

We then crossed on the ferry again, drove back to Ireland and eventually, after being caught in the Saturday night Mass traffic, arrived back at our cottage.
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