I started planning Ireland first, bc we were looking into traveling into Dublin.
Travel Books and Videos:
Part of planning is going to Barnes and Noble, grabbing a coffee, and flipping through travel books. I decided to do that bc we had too much free time in Ireland, too much free time in the Cotswolds, too much free time in Keswick, and too much free time in Scotland. Not too much, but simply free time and I would hate to be driving up and down without a clue of what to do. So let's have fun at the bookstore together.
Those books have so far helped me find interesting things in Ireland.
But videos are also useful. Besides Rick Steves, we have watched Traveling with Kids, a Channel on Roku made by a couple and their 2 little boys.
Linen Hall Library in Belfast
We found out in a travel guide (either Michelin or DK) that the Linen Hall Library in Belfast has a place where you can make genealogical search. we also found out that they open on Saturdays (9:30-4) and admission is free (though donations are encouraged).
The Linen Hall is the oldest Libray in Ireland, and I read somewhere that it holds the oldest books in Northern Ireland, as well as the oldest newspaper. The Bobbin is their new cafe, and apparently the name is the result of a popular contest.
Originally we would spend this Saturday in Dublin, but we figured we'd do Dublin on the last day, and go try to find genealogical info before we made it to the church.
St. George's Market - click here to watch a video abut it.
From Dublin to Belfast is only 1h40m-trip, so we would make it there at around 11. We figure we could eat lunch at St. George's Market (Sat 9-3). St. George's Market is one of Belfast oldest attractions (1890) and considered one of the best markets in Great-Britain. If you are a New Englander, think one of those Big E convention center buildings, with lots of free food sampling. Last time we were there we bought Turkish Delight, learned what a guzunder is, and talked to locals. I was not planning on going back there, but, hey, now that we have an important genealogical research to make on a Saturday, why not?
So, lunch at St. George's Market, the research at the Linen Hall Library till 4, then a black cab tour of the city murals.
Black Cab Tours:
They are tours of Belfast that last approximately 1h30m and cost between £25-30 for up to 2 people. The neat thing is that they take you to a tour of the murals, but they will also do
- City Centre
- Political Districts
- Wall Murals
- Cemetery and Graveyard
- Titanic Shipyards
- City Hall
- Traditional Pubs and Bars
- St Annes Cathedral
- Cave Hill
- Queens University
- Ulster Museum
- Belfast Peace Wall
This list is taken straight our of this website: http://www.belfasttours.com/about.htm
But the other one i found, more expensive, is this one:http://belfastblackcabtours.co.uk/
Probably spend the day on genealogy reserach. We might do the City Hall records in Cookstown, and follow up on any links we find.
Dinner at McCartney's. We have to to find this place that we drove through while getting lost in Cookstown whereabouts.
Why dinner at McCartney's? Well, can you guess which McCartney I love? Of course I want dinner or a drink at this place.
Than back to our homebase in Cookstown.
in case dinner the night befoe didn't work, we will try dinner or drink at McCartney's again.
the Book of Kells at the Trinity College (€8.50 each, if booked online).
The Book of Kells is a 9th-century gospel manuscript - the four gospels in the latin Vulgate text- written on Vellum (prepared calfskin) - housed in this 18th-century library at Trinity College. It's supposed to have originated in a monastery the island of Iona, west of Scotland, and maybe finished at Kells (after a Viking raid made the monks take refuge at Kells, County Meath).
The Crypt of St. Michan's (€4 each) after lunch.
The Crypt is these vaults underneath this still active church where mummified remains of the Dublin's most influential families were found. There is a lot of legend around it, such as a supposed crusader, but apparently and unfortunately, the oldest body in there is only 650 years dead.
Our guide in 2011 was amazing! So knowledgeable about the world. He knew I was either a Corinthians or a Palmeiras fan, and argued that the Beatles were actually Irish.
I hope we meet him again.
On Saturday it's better to do St. Michan's first, bc they close earlier (10-12:45 vs 2:00 to 4:45 during the week). On Sunday, forget St.Michan; the church is active and they hold service there.
On another weekday, I'd do Book of Kells first since they open early [Mon-Sat 09:30-17:00; Sun (May-Sep) 09:30-16:30; (Oct-Apr) 12:00-16:30.]
We will have lunch or dinner at the Brazen Head - supposedly the oldest pub in Ireland, then head to the airport.
We might turn in the car as soon as we get there and take public transport to save on parking Let's see which is more economical.