Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The grass really is greener in Ireland*

I’d like to write a love letter to the British Isles. It goes something like this:
2-4 March 2012
My dears,
Thank you for consistently being such a wonderful host (ess?), offering up beautiful vistas and delicious fairy cakes with proper tea at every turn. Not only did you host me for an amazing semester in London, but you made a great experience out of just a short weekend in Northern Ireland.
Look at what Belfast had to offer us:
An evening walk that saw the town hall, a statue by the lake, and the leaning clock tower.

Seriously the most beautiful bus tour I have ever been on (also my first bus tour, but that is neither here nor there), including
incredible views of the sea,

probably the world’s most famous rope bridge,


the Giant’s Causeway,

and more photos full of green and blue than I thought was possible.
A sunny Sunday morning walk through Queen’s University.

A black cab tour on which we saw the Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods, the gates between them that were closed because it was Sunday, and the peace wall (with our new signatures...and Rhianna’s).

Protestant side of the wall

not all of the gates were close - Checkpoint
Charlie was open

Catholic side of the wall

And that doesn’t include the tea with milk (what a novel idea! Get on board, Switzerland), cider, fish and chips, and Cafe Nero caramel waffles.
You are beautiful. Let me know if you have any job openings; I’d love to spend some more time together.
Cheers, Julia
*Alternate titles for this entry include: “‘Our next wee stop will be in this little wee village, ladies and gentlemen,’” “This European PDA is really getting out of control,” “Belfast you make me feel like I’m the only tourist in the world,” and “Tea with milk, and other things I’ve missed from the UK.” x

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