Home and Reflections on Ireland


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Published: June 13th 2019
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Bailey’s on the flightBailey’s on the flightBailey’s on the flight

For our coffee.
"Take the world nice and easy, and the world will take you the same”.- Irish proverb

And just like that, we're home! What a fantastic trip we had to Ireland. 😊 It was good craic (Irish for fun).

The first leg of our flight home was from Dublin to Montreal, and it was quite a pleasant flight. The configuration of the rows of seating on the plane was two seats along each side, and three in the middle. Susan and I were sitting in the two seats along the side, so we didn't have to worry about being squished in with someone else. That makes for a much nicer flight. I wasn't looking forward to the Air Canada Rouge flight, but actually it turned out just fine. We were supplied with pillows and blankets, and settled in for the just under 7 hour flight. The international leg of our journey included meals, but no complimentary alcohol. I had a pretty good spinach and mushroom penne, and we bought a white wine each to accompany our pasta. We dozed and watched movies on the Air Canada app (I got to use the ipad this time, and Susan used her phone).
Flight of beer at the Montreal airportFlight of beer at the Montreal airportFlight of beer at the Montreal airport

A loooong flight - 6 beer!
Later we got mini Baileys to go with our coffee.

We had a long layover in Montreal, about 4 hours, and we had intended on finding a lounge to spend the time in, but the only lounge in the area was the Air Canada lounge, which wasn't open to us, so we instead found a restaurant for a flight of beer and dinner. We weren't supposed to have to go through security again in Montreal, but I guess we went the wrong way (there was absolutely no signage or staff to direct you), so we ended up having to go through again. At security they opened up the sealed duty free bag, did some sort of test on the bottle of Irish cream liquor we bought at the Dublin airport, and sealed it up again. We had lots of time to kill so didn't mind the time the security check took.

The plane to Vancouver had the 3 seats on each side configuration, and we had the window and middle seats (I was in the dreaded middle). The flight was over 5 hours and felt very long. I was pretty glad to finally land at Vancouver. We picked
GuinnessGuinnessGuinness

We pulled these pints ourselves at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin!
up our bags, hopped the skytrain two stops to where we parked our car, and headed home. We got home about 8 pm, and were greeted by an extremely happy kitty! Ella was well taken care of by her cat sitters, but she obviously missed us. We unpacked and crashed, tired after the long journey.

We only had 10 full days in Ireland, but felt we got quite a good overview of the country, visiting both Dublin and Belfast, and seeing some of the southwest of this beautiful country. The scenery in Ireland is pretty spectacular, and the people are very friendly, easy going, and hospitable. “Wow” moments of the trip for me: seeing the Cliffs of Moher, and horse back riding in the lovely Killarney National Park. Favourite food and drink in Ireland: soda bread, Guinness black bread, fish chowder, Irish coffees, and Guinness! I'm suffering from Irish coffee and Guinness withdrawal already.

As illustrated by the blog entries (the entries from the Republic are listed under Ireland and the entries from Northern Ireland are listed under the UK), Ireland is a divided country. The Republic finally became independent from the UK in the 20th century, and became a republic in 1949, but of course Northern Ireland remains part of the UK to this day. There is no discernable border between Ireland and Northern Ireland - we didn't even know exactly when we had crossed the border. That's a big change from the past when the border was a dangerous area, well guarded by armed soldiers. One of the big issues with Brexit is the need to avoid a return to a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland. That could have a negative impact on peace in Northern Ireland.

I was surprised at the extent of the continuing divisions between Republican/Catholic and Loyalist/Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. The "Conflicting Stories" walking tour we did in Belfast was confronting and thought-provoking. It was a privilege to hear the views of those two men, once imprisoned for their actions and beliefs, now working to maintain the peace. Our guide on our day trip to the Giant's Causeway said that if you had told him back during the Troubles that tourists would be visiting Belfast in the future and he would be taking them to the Giant's Causeway, he would have fallen over laughing, sure that would never
View of the Fraser River View of the Fraser River View of the Fraser River

Not so bad to come home to
happen. But it has happened. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 brought peace, and Belfast is definitely looking to the future, as it puts its violent past behind it. I got to quite like Belfast during our short time there. We also really enjoyed our time in Dublin, a very friendly city.

It was a treat to travel to an English speaking country, where we could drink the water and eat the food without concern. A big change from most of our trips! As I mentioned previously, Irish is the official language of the Republic and signage is in Irish first, followed by English (but everybody speaks English). I found the Irish accent quite lovely, though occasionally in Northern Ireland to be verging on incomprehensible! I loved the announcements in the elevator at the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast (1st floor, so it is 😊)

Our Paddywagon guide Alex told us a funny story I will share here, when he was describing the much diminished role religion plays in Ireland. (Alex is Catholic but never goes to church, as is common for his generation - he's in his late 20s). When Alex was about 6, he was at his
Ella in the sunElla in the sunElla in the sun

She was so happy to see us.
uncle's funeral, and the blessing was said ("in the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost"). Well, he heard it as "in the name of the father, the son, and into the hole he goes" (maybe because he heard it during the burial, and if you say it quickly and in an Irish accent it sounds very similar 😊). Anyway, for several years he says the blessing this way, and no one ever corrected him, until one day when he was asked to say the blessing at some school function, which was a big honour. So he gets up and announces "in the name of the father, the son, and into the hole he goes." Mayhem ensues. There is an argument between him and the priest as to the correct wording of the blessing. His parents are called to leave work and immediately come to the school. Upon hearing the story from the priest, a strange look comes over this father's face and he has to leave the room. Alex is terrified he is in serious trouble. Turns out his father couldn't keep a straight face and didn't want to burst out laughing in the room with
I love my present!I love my present!I love my present!

Tissue paper wrapped around our Belleek mugs - Ella loves it.
the priest. His mother thought it was funny too. That's when Alex realized his parents weren't the strict Catholics he had thought they were. I wanted to name a blog entry "In the name of the father, the son, and into the hole he goes" but I couldn't work it in😊.

Well, on that note, that brings an end to the Ireland blog, I hope you have enjoyed reading it and travelling along with us! Until the next time, slainte! (to your health).


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Irish libationsIrish libations
Irish libations

Cork Dry Gin (good for gin and tonic), Paddy Irish Whiskey, Bullmills 12 year Irish Whiskey, and Five Farms Irish Cream Liquor
Sunrise on the FraserSunrise on the Fraser
Sunrise on the Fraser

I was up early ...


13th June 2019

Welcome back
Thank you for your wonderful writing, it’s been a pleasure once again to follow you two on your journey. We are glad you’re home safe and sound. We probably crossed paths, Myron and I left NW Tuesday.
13th June 2019

Welcome back
Thanks so much Tuula, I'm glad you enjoyed my blog. Thanks for reading!
13th June 2019

Great Trip
Such a great trip you both had. Thanks for taking the time to detail your trip Lori...totally enjoyed it. Love
13th June 2019

Great trip
Thanks Norma, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
14th June 2019

Love your travel blogs
Howdie girls, we have both really enjoyed your travel news past and present, thank you for including and remembering us. We have yet to visit Ireland, but in 2016 we had a mammoth 10 week trip which included Scotland, England, France, Spain, and Morocco. Currently we are both still working so that when we travel it's business class baby!! We are both well, grandparents and as Billy Connelly says "making groaning noises getting in and out of a chair." A true sign of maturity of body 😂😂 You made it to Vietnam, we hope you can make it down under one day. Take care and keep well and happy. 💜🌹🍀🍀🍀🍀
14th June 2019

Love your travel blogs
Hi Chris and Grant, so good to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blogs. Your 2016 trip sounded fantastic. Did you like Morocco? We were there last fall and really enjoyed it. I would love to see Scotland - all those castles! Business class is the way to go - unfortunately we are stuck in economy :(. Susan knows all about "making groaning noises getting in and out of a chair", hah. We would love to visit Australia and we definitely will one day - we would love to see you both. If you have any plans to visit Canada, we've got a spare room with your name on it. Take care, love Lori & Susan
14th June 2019

I've enjoyed following your blogs...
you both had great food, plenty to drink, and sights to see. So where were your ancestors from?
14th June 2019

I've enjoyed following your blogs
Thanks very much Bob. I didn't do any ancestor hunting on this trip, I didn't have enough specific information on the Irish ancestors I have in the Republic, and we didn't have enough time to investigate my great grandmother's roots in Northern Ireland. Perhaps on a future trip. Thanks for reading!
18th June 2019

Reflections
I enjoyed this post, especially your reflection on The Troubles. I have a good friend from Dublin and we often discuss the repercussions of a hard border inside Ireland. It will be a sad day if that happens. Not surprisingly, my fave photo of the blog is Ella on the tissue paper with that curled paw of happiness - what a gorgeous one she is :)
18th June 2019

Reflections
Thanks Ren. It sure hope they work out the ramifications of brexit without damaging the peace in Northern ireland. Ella loves her tissue paper - we'll have to keep it until it's in tatters! BTW, she's not as chubby as she appears in photos :)
18th June 2019
Flight of beer at the Montreal airport

Flying out of the airport
A flight for your flight is a grand idea. Solid planning.
18th June 2019
Flight of beer at the Montreal airport

Flying out of the airport
Ah, we do enjoy our flights!
29th June 2019

Welcome Home!
Yay! Glad to read you made it back safely, and that it sounded like a wonderful trip for you both. Sorry to hear you got the dreaded middle seat, not nice at all! But what a lovely welcome from your kitty, I love your alcoholic souvenirs, and I'm sure indeed you have many memories of your lovely trip to Ireland to savour. Thank you for taking me along on your journey with you 😊
29th June 2019

Home and Reflections
Thanks very much Alex for reading my blog, I’m glad you enjoyed travelling with us! We’ve already enjoyed a gin and tonic made with the Cork Dry gin we got in Ireland. 😃 I’m looking forward to reading about your future travels.

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