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Fishink In Ireland

September 28, 2015

Hello again everyone, did you miss me at all ? lol only time will tell : )

I’ve had a few days away in Ireland since I saw you last. Rather relaxing (although we did quite a bit) and felt very lucky to catch up with some good friends during that time too. Of course I took some photos to share my days with you.

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We stayed near Banbridge in the north, with a lovely view across a green valley and a garden full of wildlife. The birds and butterflies made me smile with their balancing antics and vivid colours.

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The Chiffchaffs were extremely animated and rather tricky to capture (one below), we had some good fortune with the weather too.

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This was Newcastle, County Down, and the impressive Slieve Donard Hotel.

Originally built by the Belfast and County Down Railway,as an ‘end of line’ luxury holiday destination. Construction started in 1896 and was completed and officially opened on 24th June 1898 at a cost of £44,000. It was one of the most majestic hotels of its time and was almost self-sufficient with its own bakery, vegetable gardens, pigs, laundry and innovatively a power plant, which also provided electricity for the railway station.

The Slieve Donard typified the ideas of Victorian grandeur and luxury with its Drawing Room, Grand Coffee Room, Reading and Writing Room, Smoking Room, Billiard Room and Hairdressing Rooms – you can’t help but conjure up scenes of great style and decadence. ‘One’ could even partake of sea water baths, douche, spray, needle and Turkish baths all provided by an electric pump straight from the sea.

We had a fab luncheon there and a sunny walk along the coast and beach afterwards too.

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The following day we headed south to Carlingford, where they certainly know a bit about contrasting colours !

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Walking up the hills above the town, enable some great views of the harbour and hills opposite. Sadly we didn’t see any of the little folk.

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Some more delights of my friend’s morning-time garden, how many purples!  Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched ?

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A collection of butterflies including Red Admirals, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, a Speckled Wood and a female Pheasant (not a butterfly), hiding in the long grasses.

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We spent the last day in Belfast, eating at the scrumptious ‘Made in Belfast’ in the Cathedral Quarter, with our most excellent hosts.

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Such a lovely space.

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We also popped by Titanic Belfast for all you need to know about the sailing vessel. Then back into Belfast to spot some local delights at the Mac (Belfast’s cultural hub), bottom right below.

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Spotting some great looking graffiti and venues en route.

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Last but not least this beautiful ceramic encrusted ‘Big Fish’ made by sculptor John Kindness.

The work was commissioned to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan. The site is a significant landmark as it is the location of the confluence of the River Farset with the River Lagan (Belfast is by the way named after the River Farset).

The outer skin of the fish is a cladding of ceramic tiles decorated with texts and images relating to the history of Belfast. Material from Tudor times to present day newspaper headlines are included along with contributions from local school children. Being over 10 meters long, it is a big fish indeed.

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A well needed and wonderful three days. Thanks again to our hosts and the warm people of Ireland, who helped make our calming break, a most memorable one.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2015 10:06 am

    Welcome back to the blogosphere m’dear and with such a fabulous post too!! Ireland looks so wonderful in your photos that its really tempting to hop on a plane and explore! Ever thought of being a travel agent?!! I look forward to seeing what else has been inspiring you recently!! :o)

    • September 28, 2015 10:43 am

      Thanks Lizzie. A lovely slower pace of life out there. Easy to loose yourself in : )

  2. September 28, 2015 11:13 am

    Lovely pix – especially the birds on reeds or grasses. Keep it up! well done.

  3. Elaine permalink
    September 28, 2015 11:28 am

    I must go to Ireland, such a beautiful place. Glad you enjoyed your break, photos are delightful as ever 🙂

  4. September 28, 2015 12:36 pm

    Thank you Craig: it’s a lovely reportage! Have a nice day!😊

    • September 28, 2015 12:51 pm

      Hi Isabella. So glad you enjoyed it, thanks for letting me know.

  5. September 28, 2015 3:25 pm

    Love it all! Nature, the lane, the building colors, the flags across the street, the rustic restaurant table tops, the sea and garden views… Love it! thanks for sharing. On another note Craig, was thinking perhaps you should have a Pinterest button on here, or have I missed it?

  6. September 28, 2015 5:16 pm

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time! Lovely piccies too. Was going to fave, but there is just a Vanish advertisement there, and it just keeps saying “loading” :O(

  7. hoorayhenrietta permalink
    September 28, 2015 5:17 pm

    Weird – now it looks like it has accepted my fave. The joys of technology….

    • September 28, 2015 5:37 pm

      Thanks for persevering Henrietta… it’s great to hear from you too, so glad you enjoyed the post also.

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