We left for a day in the city this morning around 9:30am.  Ironman, Jonny and Rachel went to get breakfast at Franky & Bennys, which is supposed to be an American breakfast because you can order pancakes and fried things...haha.  While they were eating, Michaela and I went to Castle Court to meet her cousin for bridesmiad dress shopping.  That was over so quickly since her cousin bought the first dress she tried!

We went over to get the guys and Rachel and all headed over to the Victoria Square for shopping.  While there, we climbed to up to the Dome to see a 360 degree view of the city of Belfast!!!

Ironman and I went off on our own to do a tour on a city bus and were able to see so much more of the city than by foot.  We saw all sorts of old buildings and streets that we honestly have no idea what we were looking at...but still enjoyed it!

There were just so many buildings and the tour guide spoke so quickly.  Plus, when she would say "the building on the right" and there were 13 buildings on the right, it was hard to know which one she was talking about.  The old courthouse looked like it has been bombed...

There is a tunnel that goes under the street from this courthouse to the jail...we might go tour the jail another day.  And to the Titanic museum!

We saw the Parliament buildings (the Stormont) and the different neighborhoods of the Catholics and Protestants, separated by the Peace Wall.  The wall must have been 30 feet high!  It's crazy that the country was at war against itself for 30 years and now they are all trying to live together in peace.  

The tour really was fun and the tour guide was hilarious.  She was cracking jokes on herself the entire time...and the Scottish...and the English...and the Canadians...not the Americans, though...yay!!!  That's the first time ever!!!

By the end of the tour, the bus didn't want to return to the city center because of heavy traffic, so they dropped us somewhere and we got lost!!!  We had to use the bathroom SOOOOooooo bad and couldn't find a toilet or our way back to our friends.  We walked around until we recognized the TKMaxx (yes, t K maxx instead of tjmaxx) sign and eventually found the street where we boarded our tour.  Michaela saw us and was freaking out, calling my name and waving frantically.  Apparently, Jonny and Michaela found out the tour wasn't returning us to the correct location and we all had no way of contacting each other!!!

Once everyone calmed down, we met up with Jonny's best man, Warren, and had dinner at a Chinese buffet.  I'll sum it up...I found a hair in my food and then saw the chef wiping his nose with the nastiest hanky I've ever seen, putting it back in his pocket and returning to his cooking without washing his hands...yea...true story...

Isn't this mall neat! It is outdoors, but parts of the roof are covered in glass so it feels like we are indoors, except it's still freezing!!!

We met up with some friends from when we used to live on the ship, the Logos Hope.  Sam and Danielle are the photographers/videographers for the wedding and had to go over some of the details with Jonny and Michalea.  The whole evening, Michaela kept saying to Jonny that he needed to move the car, but he kept saying that it would be ok.  So, by the time we got to the car, we were locked out of the parking lot!!!  We tried to break the lock, pick the lock, considered climbing over the fence and under the fence, but because of the surveillance cameras, we were scared.  We called Jonny's friend Warren to come back and pick us up.  Every car in this entire country is the size of a smart car (the largest car by far has been a honda crv) and all six of us had to smash in for the ride home.  At least Warren was able to come back for us or we would have had to walk hours to get back home since Michaela lives out in the country and there are no buses.

We made it home and had a picnic on the floor of the living room...and more Schloer:)

So, they speak English here, but it can be confusing...here are some translations:

Grilled sandwich-toasties
Yield-give way
Tank top-vest
Underwear-pants (this one always gets us)
Cell phone-mobile phone

I guess this will be a running list as I learn new words:)

Honestly, all of the views, the countryside, the streets, the stores and the accents make me feel like I am in a Harry Potter movie!!!

Tomorrow we head to Donegal for two nights at a fancy hotel for some R&R with Jonny and Michaela!  It's a three hour trip and they are dreading it...they say it's the longest road trip ever:)

See you tomorrow!!!

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