Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Third trip to Ireland

We had a successful CV Writing class.  There were nine in attendance and things went well.  Now we are off to Ireland again.
This has been our our third trip to Ireland.  The leaves are still off the trees, and the weather is cold and wet, but the green in the fields is still amazing.  As usual with these trips, the roads are so narrow there is not much space to stop and take pictures of the countryside…it is again stored in my “brain video”.  Ireland is a beautiful place.


The ferry again is amazing with what it can carry.  I took this picture as we were getting back into the car to unload in Belfast.  The ferry is about 100 yards long and has three lanes for parking cars and trucks on each side, plus another level below for more trucks. 
We drove from Edinburgh to Cairnryan and then took the ferry to Belfast and drove to Dublin.  There we meet with our Supervisor from Birmingham and the Dublin Stake Employment Specialist. 
On Friday we went to Limerick to meet with some individuals there to help with their CVs and then up to Galway for a workshop on Saturday.  We were disappointed on Saturday because no one came to the workshop.  We don’t think there was enough advertising that we would be there.  Since no one came to the workshop, we spent the afternoon in the town of Galway and then stayed over on Sunday to speak in the Galway Sacrament Meeting.  We wandered through the old Galway all afternoon.
Many of the streets in the older part of town are blocked off for pedestrian traffic only.  There was a street market down one street with vendors selling fresh vegetables, bread, gifts, etc.  It was really busy with people.

There was a butcher with his meat stand with really good looking meat.  This market takes place every Saturday and Sunday.

There was a fish monger with lots of fish...all kinds and really fresh.
This is an old section of the wall and an original gate to the city (now blocked up however)

Galway is on the west coast of Ireland and was originally a walled city.  The city was an active trading port with Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy In the 13th and 14th century, and later with America in the 17th century.  Northwest of Galway there are communities where the Irish language is the first language in the home and English is a second language. 
  We learned that the word "Fáilte" is Irish Gaelic for "Welcome" 
It is pronounced "Faw-cha".  There are only 13 sounds in the Irish language and there is no resemblance to English at all.  There are over 45 sounds in the English language.
This is the old Spanish Gate that still stands by the river

The river was extremely high with runoff from recent heavy rains.

As we headed back to the Hotel we had a beautify sky to watch as we walked.
On Sunday afternoon we drove back to Belfast.  We took Monday to see some of the area near Belfast where many of my relatives lived.  There are many on my Mother’s side of the family who came from Ireland.  Many lived in County Armagh (pronounced Ar-maw). 
We went to the Thomas Ferguson Linen factory in the town of Banbridge, just outside of Belfast.  This factory is the only factory in Ireland that makes the damask linen.  Much of the "Irish linen" is made in China and Portugal.  In fact, even the Ferguson mill uses mills in Portugal.  They will weave the linen and then ship it to Portugal for finishing.  It is then sent back to the Ferguson mill to be made into what ever item they have woven... such as table cloths, napkins, runners, handkerchiefs, etc.  It was interesting to watch the linen be woven.  the above picture is a cloth about 120 inches wide being woven.  you can't see the pattern very well, but there is one there.
Watching the weaving was very interesting.  This side is the threads going into the loom.
This is the other side of the loom with the finished linen cloth coming out.
We then drove to the town of Armagh.  My relatives came from County Armagh and from little towns of Gilford and Newry.  The countryside is beautiful. 

This is the St. Patrick Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church.  Across town there is a St. Patrick Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.  This cathedral was built in the early 1800s.

A very impressive building.
We took the ferry back to Scotland on Tuesday.  The weather was a wee bit rough crossing the Irish Sea.
Next up...The Burns supper and the haggis!!



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