Scotland yesterday and Ireland today. It’s a bit hard to remember just exactly where I am. Buy goods in Euros one day, Pounds the next, then back to Euros..... Oh, and US dollars on ship, just to make life interesting.
We visited Belfast today to be exact. Oh and I mentioned the clear skies in the past blog..... hmmm shouldn't have talked too soon. It seems it rains every day here
I missed going to the quilt event this morning, it was a lack of communication on my part I’m afraid. I had the information 3 months ago, and with my schedule I just didn’t file it... I need a reminder a few days in advance for it all to sink in really.
However we did drive through the area in Belfast where the civil unrest was at it’s worse.
How many years have we been hearing of the struggles, and I am embarrassed that I didn’t understand it fully. That’s not to say that I understand it completely now, but I do have a better idea.
Words like, “a nine year old boy was shot on those steps”
“On this crossroad, if you turned left the snipers would shoot the car”
“nine people died in this fish and chip shop”
“This hotel was targeted 40 times, it’s the most bombed hotel in Europe”
It took me a while before I realized that they weren’t talking about the world wars, but the terror beginning in the 60’s and we all lived through that.
The statements were made in a matter of fact way and are a poignant reminder of the violent struggle between two opposing ideals.
There is just one block between the two divisions... and a huge 20 foot wall divides the two enclaves. I just can’t imagine living in such danger, but the Irish are survivors.
Some of the ladies visited the Ulster Folk Museum and were privy to 10 Irish quilt tops.
I’m sorry I missed them, but then I learnt a lot more about things that I should have paid more attention to in the past.
Traveling with a diverse group gives you the rare opportunity to share like minded experiences in a positive way. It’s also a novelty to have ones husband in attendance too, I don’t think Keith and I have spent this much time together in the past year....!!! a bit of a shock to the system really.
As you do when you visit Ireland, we ended up at an Indian festival... I had a henna pattern put on my right hand, now it looks like orange age spots instead of a design.... I’m told it will take a week to wear off. We watched Bollywood dancers, and dodged heavy showers of rain before returning to the comfort of the ship.