Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
583Trip End Ongoing
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Driving in, I was surprised. It was cleaner than Dublin, but that wouldn't of been to hard !!! We parked up, found the tourist info place and booked the tour. We walked across the road, and Jim, our driver was waiting for us. He wouldn't tell us which side he was batting for and wanted us to tell him at the end. So we threw a few questions at him, and not long after, we had arrived at our first stop
Here we were, five minutes from the centre of the city, and we could have been in the UK. Oh yeah, we were !!! Loads of houses had British flags all over them. Over the ends of many houses, just like Bogside in Slash, there were political paintings. One showing Cromwell coming to fight the Cathies, another showing a hand claiming the island for the Prossies, and a couple showing some men who had fought for the Prossies and had been killed, but were heroes, or even martyrs in the eyes of some. The eeriest painting was of a sniper. If you stood in front of him, he was pointing at you, to the left, to the right, below, you could not escape the gun. It didn't feel right, it felt like we were being watched, in fact you could feel the tension in the air, as if everything was ready to kick off again.
So we jumped back in the cab, and headed over to our next stop. Along the way, we passed by the old courthouse and jail. They are sitting there disused, and word is that the courthouse is going to be turned into a posh hotel, whilst the jail into a backpackers. Could be interesting
As we headed over to the Cathies, Jim our driver pointed out some gates and a wall. He said that the British Army had built this wall to keep the two sides apart. There were gates as well that were permanently closed, and some that were open a couple of hours a day. We pulled up beside it, and I thought I knew as few things in life, but I had never heard of this wall, and when comparing it to the Berlin one, it was over twice the height. The reason being, the Cathies had their houses built up to the back of the wall, and the Prossies would throw molotov cocktails over the wall, and the only way to stop it, was to go higher. So they did.
Through an open gate, we were now on the otherside. The Cathies houses were indeed built up to the wall, and for added protection, they had stiff wire meshing to protect the houses from the molotovs that were thrown. Would they work, well there were none thrown whilst we were there, so I can't answer that. Mural wise, there wasn't much there really, but then we came across a huge one of Bobby Sands. I have memories of him when I was younger, being on a hunger strike in the Maze prison, and dieing after 66 days. Jim, wasn't able to tell us much more, so we knew there and then that he was a Prossie. Around the corner were a load of other murals, showing how good the Cathies are and how fucked up the rest of the world was.
Our tour pretty much finished there and then. We do need to come back to Belfast because I now know that it warrants another visit, but that is in the future, and trust me, there are loads of other places lined up before we even think of setting back onto the shores of Great Britain again
We drove back to Dublin, parked the Fuckos up, and checked in. There is not a lot to do at Dublin airport, so we went through security, and made our way towards our gate. I had looked up at the board and had seen that the plane was flying to Stansted at 21:10, which was strange, as we were meant to be flying at 21:15. It was ok, as RyanAir had changed their times in the past, so we accepted it, and sat and waited. Then the time came, where we were called up to board. We handed over our boarding pass, and we were all given our stubs back. We walked to the plane, backdoor of course. The girl at the back was reading a magazine, she asked to see our stubs, we showed them, and then sat down. After about fifteen minutes, an announcement came over. Would Lucy Gledhill make herself known as she is on the wrong plane. I went over and spoke to the magazine reading girl, and we had words. She wasn't the only one on the wrong flight. I grabbed Lucy and Ed, and asked the girl to radio through to the other plane. She refused. So we ran and ran and ran and missed our fucking plane. We went back through customs to the RyanAir desk. Along the way, we met another two people who had the same problem !!! At the desk, we told the girl there what had happened. She said it was our fault. The three of us launched into her. Yes, we did admit partial fault, but in this day and age, where they are so worried about letting the wrong people onto a plane, and we had passed through two RyanAir checkins, where we should have been pulled, she could jam this blame up her ass !!! She went to speak to her manager, and after ten minutes she came back out. Now RyanAir as a company are notorious for fucking up and charging you more, so my wallet was ready, ready to buy three tickets back to London, and then came the hit, RyanAir would give us three free tickets on the first flight back to London the next morning. Yes it was going to cost us a night in a hotel, but we did get something out of it. Yes we kind of fucked up, but it won't happen again, trust me, I learn from my mistakes !!!