Our last day in Edinburgh (July 24) was spent lazily. We met with our daughter and her husband for lunch, checked the trains to Glasgow for them as they were flying home from there, checked out of our spacious apartment and drove to the airport for our short flight to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
We have a dear friend in Northern Ireland. We met him in 1980 when he came to our town as a student minister to help our church with their summer youth programs. He stayed at our house for four months and returned to BC for a visit in 1982. Our family visited him in 1986 and we were back again in 1994 when John was Best Man at Colin’s wedding. Since we were in Scotland for Joseph’s wedding we decided we were much too close to Northern Ireland to not go visit him and his family.
The flight is only about an hour. We had a bit of a problem at the airport when we went to check in. Our travel agent had booked all our flights for the trip and we did not know that the airline we were to fly on was a quick commuter that only allowed one carry-on bag. John and I each had three – me with my purse, my camera bag and my carry-on and John with his carry-on, camera bag and laptop. We were told we had to consolidate everything into one bag before we could board; which really doesn’t make a lot of sense because the combined weight of the items is the same whether they are in one place or three, but whatever. Well, of course there was not room in our carry-on bags for our other items. I eventually just told the staff to take our checked bags off the plane and we would make new arrangements to fly on another airline. They didn’t want to do that either. The upshot was that the plane was fully boarded and waiting for us before the check-in lady called the captain and received permission for us to get on with all our extra pieces. If we had know about the carry-on restriction in advance we would have packed differently, but we didn’t know. It would have been no problem for us to get a different flight another time, but, even though they wouldn’t let us on board because we had too many carry-on items, they also wouldn’t take our checked bags off so we could take a different airline. Sometimes traveling can be quite interesting.
We had rented a place with a full-kitchen for the week we would be in Northern Ireland, so once we had deplaned we picked up our rental car and set off to find the place.Clenaghan’s is not in a town. It is in farm country and used to be a farm. All the buildings are made of stone. The building on the corner is the local pub. We were located around the back in a very quiet corner unit. The doorway in the corner near the red flowers is the entrance to our place. The two doors below also access rental units, but we didn’t see anyone in them while we were there. We settled in and called our friend to let him know we had arrived. He and his wife and two children came over the next day and we all took the train to Belfast and had an enjoyable time at The Titanic Experience. The ship had been built in Northern Ireland. By the time we arrived back at Clenaghan’s and our friends left it was 10 pm. It was wonderful to see Colin and Cathy again and to meet the children. We had a great first day in Northern Ireland.