September 3, 2023

Oceania Marina - Killybegs, Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead

We enjoy Ireland and Northern Ireland and another fancy dinner at La Reserve.

Oceania Marina - Killybegs, Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead

Ireland, Killybegs

It's nice to be in Ireland again.

The port seems to be shipping huge blades for windmills. The engineering is amazing. They can't be reused when their life is up so they end up in huge blade graveyards polluting the environment. Hmmmm.

I was able to walk up and touch these, they seem to be made from a composite material, perhaps carbon fiber, which explains why the materials can't be reused.

The engineering is amazing so at least there's that.

We ate lunch at Mellys and had traditional fish and chips. And curry chips which were excellent.

We got some ice cream at Sweet News. Ireland has the best ice cream!

We walked around a bit and took some pictures.

We found an agapanthus plant. We had these in our yards in Los Altos and Morgan Hill, and it's so fun to see them in other parts of the world in the landscaping.

This tractor pulled around a corner and Mitzi quickly pulled up the Q2 and got several great shots. These are for Benson. He loves tractors and loves his 'meat meat poppy' so when I sent this picture to him (via Sydney of course) she said, "Oh my gosh! He’s saying meat meat poppy come! And now showing his friends" and sent the picture of Benson, so endearing!

Northern Ireland - Belfast

Our itinerary was to have a day in Douglas and tender to shore. However due to rough seas which would cause the tender operation to be too risky, we rerouted to a pier in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.

Here's the view out our window this morning. Cool double holiday ferry passing by.

Mitzi is looking for fabric for a new quilt. We found a cute little store and she spent 30 minutes shopping and finding fabrics. When she was ready to pay the store owner mentioned it was cash-only. Oops! We only have dollars and that didn't work so while it was fun shopping, ultimately she left empty handed.

We walked for 1.2 miles through the rain to a shopping center and on the way Mitzi captured some great pictures. There are so many old buildings with character here, and tons of beautiful cathedrals.

After successfully shopping for new shoes for Mitzi, I was craving a greasy hamburger. There happened to be a Five Guys place in the shopping center. It was super crowded with locals, the Northern Irish must love this stuff. It was good, I must admit.

My health goals on this trip is to maintain my weight and stay healthy. I've successfully done this. We are almost a month into the trip and I'm very proud of myself. Mitzi and I shared the burger and a shake, mmmmm. We wanted to have an appetite for dinner on the ship in the evening.

This narrow building was built in 1861.

As we sailed out of the port we passed a dry dock ship repair yard. I've never seen a dry dock before and found it very interesting.

The second picture was my attempt to photograph the dry dock exactly perpendicular as we sailed by. Success!

At dinner I got a whole turkey leg. Mmmmm! Eatin' it like a caveman :) Except I'm on a ship wearing synthetic machine made clothes dining at a table with two plates, cloth napkin, a butter knife, three forks, two additional knives, and a spoon to boot. And a fancy crystal glass of water (not in frame). Caveman other than all that though!

Ireland - Dublin

Big tender today. We anchored out in Dublin Bay and it was quite a long ride to the port. So tender humans it is:) Technically we weren't in Dublin proper, we were actually in Dún Laoghaire (Dun-Leery), but close enough.

We walked around and found some interesting old buildings and some ice cream. Ice cream in Ireland is the best.

Mitzi got this ice cream cone with blu sherbet sugar!  She told me her 5 year old self would have LOVED it!  Her 50 year old self LOVED it too! :)

Some guys feeding the birds.

Dad and son fishing off the pier together.

These 2 meter distancing signs are remnants from the lockdowns a couple years ago. They remind me of how it makes no sense telling people to stay away from each other out in the open where the wind is blowing and the air is fresh and the sun is shining. Not exactly an environment where viruses easily replicate. Boo :(

Tender humans...

Arriving back from the tender.

Cornish Hen for dinner. Sunset as we sail.

Wales - Holyhead

The pier where we moored was long and skinny and they had to shuttle bus us up to the port entrance. It was quite a distance.

Our first stop was walking to The Bread Basket. It's a bread shop that's been run by the same family since 1886!

I got a Steak & Kidney Pie. Mitzi got two cookies.

I really liked the pie! The first bite was interesting. The second was better. And by the third I finally understood the Welsh :)

We walked through a little shopping area and found this old and interesting church. The weather was beautiful and warm today.

We saw a lot of grave stones, most are from the early 1800's. So when Mitzi took my picture on the steps I was like "I don't know when I'm going to die". I guess being widowed and being around a lot a graves makes it easy to think of one's eventual demise?

There was also a school building that dated back to the 1300's!

We had another dinner at La Reserve tonight. It did not disappoint. 7 courses over 3 hours! We sat at a table with two other couples and enjoyed a lively conversation the entire time.

Bay Scallop Teriyaki Seared on Riverstone.

Escalope of Rougié Périgord Foie Gras Sautéed with Pineapple and Hibiscus Flowers.

Maine Lobster Cassolette with Tarragon and Sea Urchin Bisque.

Portabello Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Ricotta and Black Truffle.

Wellington of Veal Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction and Harvest Vegetables.

Napoleon of Poached Williams Pear and Melted Brie de Meaux.

Floating Island Accompanied by Pralines and Roasted Pistachio Cream Prepared À la Minute.

It was a fancy dancy dining experience for sure. Now we might look like foodies, but honestly we basically just say things like "mmmm this is good" or "wow, how did you like that?" or "how did that work for you?" or "dang this is good!" or "oh look.... dark chocolate!" We cannot pronounce most of the things they are making and serving us.

We do enjoy the experience, and the talent and skill of these chefs is incredible. These are edible works of art and we are very appreciative of all the creative energy and work that goes into creating, making, and serving this food and creating such a wonderful dining experience.