We had a good sleep in that next morning. It was another travel day. We were going to make our way to Belfast but wanted to get some shopping done in Kilkenny prior to leaving. The Design Center we spotted the day prior seemed to be the best place to do this.
My name today was Sean O hEathirn.
We had a quick latte and scone/croissant at the local coffee shop and started to walk towards the Design Center. A market was set up on the street so we stopped in. Anna found some unique bog and resin jewellery to purchase. The bog wood was over 8000 years old!
The Design Center proved to be a jackpot for gifts. Stephen got all of his gift shopping done including another sweater and Irish cookbooks for himself. Anna found a fetching scarf that she proceeded to wear immediately and some small gifts as well.
We loaded up “Midge” and we were on our way! We were sad to leave Kilkenny. However, the big city beckoned.
The drive took 3 hours and not many photos were taken. In the Midlands we had planned to stop at a gin school in Tinure but only arrived to find out they were open Friday to do this. Foiled!
We drove on to Dundalk which appeared to be more economically challenged. Anna bemused the fact we could not easily find a pub serving food in that town. She was on a mission to find one and we eventually did. They served a great burger and home fries that hit the spot. A bit of ale smoothed the passage.
We got into Belfast earlier than expected and found our hotel easily and centrally placed. We told them we had a car when we checked in and needed to park it for a few days. No problem. We were given a map which appeared to be drawn by a child and told it was close by. The adventure began! We followed the map but clearly places and streets were not drawn to scale (bad assumption on our part) and we eventually parked in a lot that was not the designated one after we could not find the right lot. I decided to get out of the car and search on foot. It took awhile before I finally found the correct lot, backtracked to the parked car and drove our car to it’s rightful destination. We joked it took us about the same time to park the car at a nearby lot as it did to drive into Belfast from the outskirts!
To calm our nerves, we proceeded directly to the hotel lounge and I asked for a Dingle Gin G and T. What! They did not have any. The humanity!! The bartender offered a local alternative called Jawbox Gin (which I continued to call Jawbone for the rest of the evening much to the amusement of the locals).
We then walked over to Victoria Square in order for me to purchase an accessory for my iPhone that would make downloading photos from my SD card quicker. Success! We continued to walk around and grew progressively hungrier until we found a really nice Italian restaurant. Many of the other restaurants were booked and we would have to wait. The pasta and Chianti were fantastic. The food in Ireland was really very good.
We walked back to the hotel for a nightcap and then settled into our very comfortable bed with pillows a plenty!