Our trip to Ireland to the homeland of Lady Susan in 2015
For most people, the journey began at the airport in Stuttgart. Some started in Switzerland and others in Frankfurt. Everything was organized in such a way that the reception of “Ireland’s best guide Peter” not only went smoothly, but from the first second the proverbial friendliness and hospitality of the Irish enveloped everyone on the trip.
As everyone knows, summer was extremely hot on the European continent this year. It was like a pleasantly refreshing shower that revived the spirits as the group arrived at Dublin Airport in the refreshing slightly salty and incredibly clear air. Yes, you can hardly believe how the air can be so clear even at the airport. Even clearer inland and clear, almost transparent, clearly mystical on the coast, on the east coast, i.e., the coast on the Irish Sea.
The short drive on the waiting bus, with our warm driver Brian to the hotel, immediately brought further impressions from this special island. The Irish mentality was almost transferred to our manageable group. Almost as if you had known each other for a long time, but at the same time an attentive curiosity sparkled that everyone wanted to get to know their fellow travelers better.
The hotel was impressive and bore witness to a long history. The tradition and friendliness, the excellent cuisine that could be enjoyed for dinner, the rooms and the view of well-tended English gardens and ancient, majestic trees were combined in a natural way that allowed each individual to delve deeper into the challenge of this island.
The next morning, after a traditional breakfast, we continued a city tour of Dublin in our own bus. A pleasure to listen to Peter. Two participants, one of whom had already been on one of the trips with Lady Susan, were keen to visit the exhibition at Trinity College, more specifically the “Book of Celts”. This was also organized easily after a short consultation, although this time the Book of Celts was not planned.
Around midday everyone was together again, and the trip went briefly to the airport to welcome the guests from Switzerland.
The mother and her two children boarded from Switzerland exactly on time.
Now the journey could continue north, our destination Northern Ireland.
We were able to get to know many small but very impressive details of the island and, in addition to the culture, we also enjoyed the pure, oh-so-green, and magical nature.
Lady Susan, her half-sister Sabine, and our brilliant guide Peter managed to introduce us to Ireland as quickly as if we had been here for a long time. The food wasn’t neglected either. The Irish love picnics, and so do we, at least in this landscape!
After these wonderful, impressive experiences, we arrived in Belfast in the early evening to a very pleasant hotel in Belfast, a little outside the city. We wanted to stay there several days.
From there, those who wanted to go to a river 5 minutes away could look around, or stop off in a small café there, “for a wee cup of tea and sweets”, or simply set up something in the hotel and then, everyone as he wanted, could eat in the hotel’s restaurant there, or in the hotel bar, which had very typical Irish food and of course Guinness etc. …
Most of us had an excellent dinner in the hotel bar, which is like a very pleasant large pub.
The later evening invited us to take a short walk-in nature, or simply to go to bed to let the subconscious once again pleasantly wander through the many different impressions in our dreams.
The next morning, after breakfast, Brian, our driver, was already at the hotel door with his friendly demeanor and his bus. Peter’s voice could be heard from afar and Lady Susan’s sister greeted us all with her welcoming smile. Lady Susan was also there to use her mystical knowledge, if desired, to provide answers to individuals’ questions in her calm, active manner.
It could start. We couldn’t hide our anticipation of the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast – to be honest there was no reason to be.
This day we went to the many sights in Belfast City, especially to the Titanic Museum, where tickets had already been booked for us, as you absolutely must reserve in advance due to the great interest, indeed from the whole world.
The Titanic building, built in 2012 for the 100th anniversary, is more than worth going to. We don’t want to reveal everything here about what you’ll encounter in the Titanic Museum or where you’ll be taken, so as not to get in the way of anyone experiencing it for themselves. So much can be revealed. Suddenly you are in the middle of the Titanic… this flair!!!
There are many pubs in Belfast but going with Lady Susan to pubs that the locals know, and the tourists don’t even suspect, this “feeling” is indescribable even without Guinness. By the way, the legendary musicality of the Irish is more than contagious and here too we don’t want to influence anyone’s experience in advance who has never taken on this challenge with the Lady…!
Thanks to the help of the two ladies, who mysteriously know how to organize a large taxi, even in the middle of the night, we, the “pub experts” we thought we were by now, got back to the hotel safely and very cheaply arrived.
After a restful sleep we continued the next day.
We also visited Her Ladyship university, namely the impressive and historic lovingly named QUEEN’S, official name “The Queen’s University of Belfast”. Its foundation dates to the early 19th century.
Standing in front of it and then being able to go inside thanks to Her Ladyship is not only impressive, but everyone can easily imagine what it would be like or would have been like to be able to study in such a venerable building.
Despite its impressiveness, this university radiates a disciplined warmth that gets under your skin.
The City Tour was steeped in history. “The Fish” this time capsule, the witness lies there so proudly and what Peter said about it – you had the impression that he himself had immersed himself in the body of the fish to connect with it and its time capsule.
This triumphant building houses the Northern Ireland Parliament. Impressive inside and out, this story can only be told verbally…
The area surrounding the Stormont Parliament Buildings also invites you to take a walk through the gardens or have a picnic in the extensive English-style gardens.
There was no end to the very impressive story that had gripped each of us for a long time and continued to grip us.
Our bus took us further to West Belfast to the “Belfast Murals”.
This wall with its countless paintings and texts that tourists from all over the world have left there almost takes your breath away – so much sincere and deep compassion can be seen there.
The wall that speaks so movingly of the time, the era that tells of “Na Trioblóidí”, “The Troubles”.
We also saw Lady Susan and her one son, Sir William, walking to the wall with their arms wrapped around each other and leaving a message behind, certainly not the first, it seemed. Yes, there was probably no Irish person who did not lose family members during the “Big Troubles”.
We kept a respectful distance from Lady Susan and Sir William, but it touched our hearts how two members of such an important family took their own personal time and space to work on the murals.
We could then take a deep breath and enjoy the historic and proud building “Belfast Castle”, which is located on the hill above Belfast. This beautiful view over the city, the sea, the Irish Sea, and the port of Belfast is breathtaking. The beautiful gardens around the castle with the “nine cats made of stone and flowers” hidden there were a wandering and dreamy encounter with the history of the castle.
“A wee cup of tea and a scone”, or if you wanted, a warm meal, not only strengthened our bodies but also our souls, that was the impression we all had – and it was true!
At some point later, almost melancholy, our bus moved us out of this city where everyone had probably left a part of their heart.
But Sabine, the sister of Her Ladyship, made us dream of the sea, the Irish Sea and Carrickfergus on the bus. Carrickfergus is a small south-facing seaside town in County Antrim, approximately eleven kilometers northeast of Belfast.
Before we even got there, Sabine transported us to the heart of the “Carrickfergus Castle”. This castle was built on a black basalt rock at the end of the 12th century. built. The Irish folk song Carrickfergus has been known worldwide at least since it was translated from Irish.
I wish I was in Carrickfergus only for nights in Ballygran
I would swim over the deepest ocean the deepest ocean for my love to find
But the sea is wide, and I cannot swim over and neither have I wings to fly
If I could find me a handsome boatman to ferry me over to my love and die
My childhood days bring back sad reflections of happy times I spend so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations have all passed on now like melting snow
But I’ll spend my days in endless roaming, soft is the grass, my bed is free
Ah! To be back mow in Carrickfergus, on that long road down to the sea
And in Kilkenny, it is reported, there are marble stones as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her, but I’ll sing no more now till I get a drink
I’m drunk today, and I’m seldom sober, a handsome rover from town to town
Ah! But I’m sick now, my days are over, so come all ye young men and lay me down.
Singing this song allows you to delve deeper, so to speak with “Heart and Soul”, into the complex history of the Island.
The song within us, looking at the Castle, which is lovingly decorated from the outside and stands proudly right on the water, getting entry, immersing ourselves in the jousting games, dressing ourselves as one or even the damsel of the castle, made it rather difficult for us, again after this time trip, to get on the bus with the always friendly driver Bryan, in today’s time.
The coastal road we drove on was exactly how you imagine the island to be in movies. Thanks to the repeated short breaks we were able to see the dolphins, which swam past in a large family swarm or were obviously comfortable and frolicking around on the coast.
Oh, there was still so much and there was still a lot to tell – but as I write, I’m back in my Ireland dream…
There is one thing I would like to mention at this point –
Ballycastle, a very special town, not only because Lady Susan’s family origins can be found nearby. The “Diamond” also bears witness to this. One of her family members is being honored here. The coast in Ballycastle is very special with its cliffs, so typical that you can always recognize them very quickly.
Ballycastle is also the town, we learned, which is why, even during the Big Troubles, many Irish people, including those who came from the very south, had endured enormous hardships to attend the annual and highly traditional “Ould Lammas Fair”. visit. It is always celebrated on the last Monday/Tuesday in August every year and dates to the 17th century. And what else Lady Susan had to say about it…
And further there at the harbor “King Lir and his children” and the bird paradise of the small island “Rathlin Island” are within reach… – Lady Susan and Sabine know how to guide us through the “worlds”.
After this enjoyment of the “worlds within the worlds”, as the lady as a philosopher likes to put it, also the beautiful sandy beach and of course an ice cream and…, it was clear to Peter that he wanted us to experience pure nature on a hike wanted to leave.
The original “Breenwood” forest, which has remained unchanged for 10,000 years, is so original that even the Irish don’t even mention it, because it has always been part of it. No words can be added to this experience and then guided the way we were guided – it is simply the pure experience.
It’s almost strange to get back on the bus later knowing that we’ll soon arrive at our hotel.
But the area of our other hotel took us in a very special way to the old days, the very old times, specifically to the film world, because who doesn’t know the world-famous film “Game of Thrones”. It seemed strange to be able to spend the night in the area where large parts of this impressive film were shot.
Incidentally, Lady Susan and her family members did not stay with us in this hotel, because their Castle is not far away and so they drove home in the evening to meet us again the next morning on our way on the Costal Road.
“Giants Causway”, the “Cerrick-a-Reed-Bridge” and … were planned for these days, as well as “a wee cub of tea” and “a little something” in the sisters’ private house in C’rock. “Downhill Castle”, “Mussenden Temple”, “Hezlett House”, “C`rock Beach”, “Lions Gate”, “Bisophs Gate”, and and and… I can only express so much in words and writing now because of my enthusiasm.
The Cerrick-a-Reed Bridge was a real challenge. Ginats Causway, the world cultural heritage leaves everyone breathless to hear about the mysticism and to be able to experience it…
The island, under this special leadership of Lady Susan and her team, had captured us all for a long time, incomparable to anything else, deeply touched our souls, even though we were not born there and experienced it for the first time, even before we left Dublin, homesickness has already hit.
The trip to Dublin, with the visit to the mythical “Navan Fort” near Armagh – indescribable, also listening to the storytellers there from ancient times, feeling the energy on the hills, this energy that makes your heartbeat faster, even if you had never had anything to do with something like that and… cannot be put into words…
By the way, we visited some “Stone Circles”, including those that cannot be found in any tourist guide. These experiences – Lady Susan told us connections that suddenly let us be with the “Ancient Greeks” and then again with the Celts and then… The way we all had a deep understanding of history in general, the history of this island, the mythology, the mysticism and do so in such an easy and natural way…
Yes, only a part has somehow been expressed in this travel report, a tiny part of, we experienced and visited so many things – …. please forgive me…
What we all know, however, is that it was certainly not the last time that we will try to get a place again, because the longing for more, deeper, but above all homesickness has been our constant companion ever since.
An unspeakable thank you to Lady Susan and as well to her special team, especially Peter – oh yes, he simply must be mentioned – an indescribable thank you to her sister Sabine, such an impressive lady, and a deep thank you to her sensitive son Sir William!
It was more than a challenge, it was a challenge for our entire lives, an experience…
Once again, I apologize that this could only be a tiny excerpt…
Thank you indeed!