Headed back to Dublin from Belfast….I can’t believe that our time here in Ireland is coming to and end. I will miss this country but I must admit that I am looking forward to a bit of the mundane familiarity of home. I’m sure there is one family member in particular that will be glad to see us home too…..I owe my sister BIG for taking care of my little fur balls during this whole adventure!
I am very impressed with the train system here in Ireland. They have always been right on time, pretty comfortable and overall fairly easy to navigate. All of the staff, and the Irish people in general, have been so nice and helpful. Most of our travel days by train were anywhere from 2 to 8 hours; fortunately there was free wi-fi on the trains and when we were not conversing with fellow passengers I had a good book to read (thank you Alice!) and my AHG crochet throw to use as a pillow!
For our last night in Ireland I splurged a little and made a reservation at the Clontarf Castle Hotel. The original castle was built in 1172 and was involved in a many seizes over the years until the year 1649 when Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland and it was sold to John Vernon, whose family lived in the castle for over 300 years. In 1835 the castle was deemed unsafe due to a sinking foundation, it was demolished and rebuilt on the same site being completed in 1837. After the Vernon family line died out the castle was sold a number of times as a cabaret and special event site venue. In 1998 it became a four star hotel.
The hotel is old looking from the outside but very modern inside with a nod to it’s past. Our room was beautiful and I feel very spoiled! A nice way to end our vacation here in Ireland, we have already discussed how we might find an opportunity to come back!