About a month ago I asked our friend Gilly if we could join him the next time he went back hom to Northern Ireland and, well, that happened two weekends ago. Yep I invited Will and myself and made Gilly take us around his old stomping grounds. No shame.
We arrived at Jen and Chris’s house in Lisburn, a town just south of Belfast, Thursday evening. When I woke up Friday morning Jen and Chris had set up the table for us to have breakfast. I was humbled because not only did we keep them up late with our night arrival but Jen’s a doctor and Chris works in catering and both had early starts in the morning; apparently with just enough time to set the table for their guests. This only served as a forshadow of what was to come. The Gilmour clan is a clan that knows how to host.
So, Friday morning we took the train into Belfast and walked around.
We met up with Gilly’s friend Owen for some lunch at Common Grounds, a cute coffee shop just outside of Queens University.
Afterwards we walked to the museum where Will and I learned a ton about the history of Ireland. Now, I know I’m not the brightest crayon in the box but to not have known anything about what went on for nearly four decades in Ireland made me feel just outright ignorant. I was appreciative of Gilly’s patience with all of my questions. I know that I would not do it any justice to explain it’s history myself so if you want to learn some more about Northern Ireland’s history check this site out and if you want to know more about The Troubles you can check out this site and this one and this one too.
After the museum we went to see the Ulster match. It was my first professional rugby match and I was impressed. Those men are beasts! Constant tackling and passing and running. We were in the standing section so we stood out in the pouring rain for 2 hours yelling and watching and cheering and having a grand time! I had left my camera at a friend’s house so only iPhone pictures for this part.
As you can tell, it was packed. Unfortunately Ulster lost but it was a good match nonetheless. Afterwards, we picked up my camera (and Will’s bag) and headed back to Chris and Jenny’s for an early start to the Gilmour cottage in the morning!