Belfast, Northern Ireland

Trip Start Jun 03, 2011
Trip End Jul 18, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Saturday, June 25, 2011

This morning after a large breakfast at the hotel we went to our Internet café so we could find accommodation in Dublin. This took longer than we hoped, but we now have our room booked and could go to the Transport and Folk museum.

A couple of people had given us clear instructions about what train to catch and what station to get out at, Cultra on the Bangor line, and that worked fine.  While on the train, Ruth feeling comfortable in her winter cords, T shirt,  windcheater, thick socks and heavy walking shoes (in other words what she would wear in Melbourne in winter) and Tom in a long sleeved shirt we overhead the man opposite discussing the "heat wave".  Ruth did take her windcheater off for a while at the museum and, for the first time she can remember, was not actually cold at all during the day.

Once we were at the train station we headed out and could not find any signs to the museum.  We walked to the main road.  Tom looked for signs but Ruth, less optimistic, asked a passenger in the car waiting for the lights and he pointed us in the right direction. The museum was a fascinating place.  We first looked at the transport museum – trains, buses and cars, then the Titanic exhibit before catching the shuttle bus (it was a long walk between the two arms of the museum) to the folk museum.  The exhibits were very good with the exception that they need to make sure their push buttons and interactive displays actually work.

The first thing we did at the folk museum was to sit and listen to a great Brass band.  We did not recognise any of the tunes but enjoyed them all.  Tom also loved being able to sit and rest his back and legs!

We then walked around the town part.  There was a gathering of the Friends of Massey Fergusons with their old tractors and a replica hotel bus that was transporting wedding guests.  We also saw the actual wedding party in the grounds.  The driver of the bus was even wearing the old fashioned goggles that chauffeurs used to wear.

We ran out of time, and energy, to explore the country part of the museum.  Instead we caught the shuttle back to the main entrance then walked back to the train station where, too late, the signs on the platforms pointing to the museum were obvious.

The return train trip was likewise uneventful.  After dropping off our back pack (Ruth) and camera (Tom) we went to the old pub opposite with the intention of a quiet meal.  After a drink at the bar; and a discussion about how long it was since we had sat in a pub (when people were still smoking in bars?), we went upstairs for dinner only to learn the place was closed for a private function.  After another false start we found a little pub for a pub meal.  We certainly knew when it was time to leave – the waitress vacuumed the area next to us and spread dust all around.  It's a good thing the locals do not look for tips.

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