The harbor was beautiful. I love being on the water. And there was a little restaurant there serving breakfast, but we'd already eaten. Darn. But we were so focused on the scenery and taking pictures we didn't really need to eat too.
I swear the water looked like glass.
We checked out of Lime Park and had a few hours before we had to catch the ferry in Larne. We decided to go to Belfast.
We went to the Belfast Zoo. I'm not a big fan of zoos I really think the animals, though they probably don't live as long, deserve to be free. But I had a few favorites that I got to see. Like the mercats.
Don't they look comfortable laying in a pile. The ultimate family unit.
I loved this rhino sculpture. How funny.
I love the elephants but they were so unhappy. Their enclosure was being worked on and they were stuck
Since I started this blog with an exploration of Scotland and its castles, I thought it only fitting that I ended it with the last castle we saw. Belfast Castle in Belfast, Ireland.
The original Belfast Castle was built by the Normans in the 12th Century. It resided in the heart of the city. It was the home of Sir Arthur Chichester. The castle burned down in 1708 and instead of building back on that site they decided to rebuild in the suburbs.
(This is the side of the castle)
The current castle was built between 1862 and 1870 by the 3rd Marquess of Donegall.
The Castle was designed in the Scottish Baronial Style by Charles Lanyon and his son.
(This is the entrance side of the castle)
After Sir Donegall's death and his families finances kept them from keeping the castle and it was sold to the 8th Earl of Shaftsbury. He completed the castle.
In 1934 the 9th Earl of Shaftsbury presented the castle to the city of Belfast.
In 1978 the city of Belfast refurbished the castle over a 10 year period.The Garden is refered to as the Cat Garden. It is beautiful.
I was sorry to leave Ireland so soon. I'd have liked to have stayed another two weeks and seen more. Maybe one day I'll get to return to both Ireland and Scotland and see all the things I didn't get to see this trip.
I want to thank all you readers who have followed my efforts so faithfully. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. Being able to reflect and write down my thoughts and feelings, as well as all the historical significance of the places we visited has been a wonderful experience.
Thank you all for coming along for the experience with me.
I'm not sure what my next blog will be about. It's going to be tough to top this one.
I'm going to take a few days off to ponder that. But I'll be back soon.
Write on, Teresa R.