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day 7
By Marty Batchelder 14 February 2000

Greetings from the town of Enniskillen in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland,

We left the hotel in Scotland this morning and drove down the Western coast. We stopped at Culzean Castle located on a cliff on the Firth of Clyde. BTW, a firth is the bay located at the mouth of a river much like the Chesapeake Bay. The castle property is being developed into a resort. The buildings are in good repair. I have included pictures of the castle proper and of the stables/workshops. The gardens were also in good repair and there were deer in the Deer Park. It is obvious that the reason for developing it is that no one could afford to maintain it.

We then drove south stopping to look at a large stone island and at several rather pretty spots along the way. Then on to Stranraer on Loch Ryan where the ferry to Northern Ireland docks. We drove up just as the fast catamaran was pulling away from the dock. After waiting for 2 hours for the slower, regular ferry we took a 2-hour ride across the North Channel. This is not a slow ferry, it moves along at about 40 knots. This ferry has 3 restaurants, a Ben and Jerry’s, several bars, a game room, a small casino, gift shops, and a children’s play area.

We docked at Belfast and then drove south and west. In one town we saw about 10-12 soldiers, with full weapons, patrolling the main street. We didn’t see any signs of trouble except for one building in Belfast that appeared to have been bombed.

We found a nice hotel shortly after dark. It has a great restaurant attached to it. The menu was a Valentine’s menu and the restaurant was decorated with red and clear balloons. Dennis and I were the only non-couple in the restaurant and you should have seen the stares we got when we walked out.

The scenery is rolling GREEN hills. It is beautiful. The people are really nice and the Irish brogue is much more pleasant to the ear than the Scottish burr.

Tomorrow we are going to sight see here and then go south into the Republic of Ireland.



day 7 - ireland