Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Thursday

Saint Patrick - The Church at Saul






A frequently asked question regarding St. Patrick is 

"Where in Northern Ireland will you find a church to commemorate St. Patrick?"

The answer is "lots of places"


 I want to take you to County Down where there is a small place called Saul and there you will find not one of the Cathedral's named after the Irish Patron Saint but a beautiful small church.



As you approach the church up the long narrow driveway






you will see the sign introducing you to St. Patrick's Memorial Church, which is open to the public daily and has a service each Sunday.







It tells us that St. Patrick built the first Christian church in Ireland on this same site in 432 AD







The church is small and beautifully made from light coloured stone.   
Simple & elegant with a very tall round tower.








The adjacent small graveyard is also well looked after and just a few steps away from the arched front doorway to the church.










Even the front of this church is simple and elegant with it's arched doorway and brickwork framing the door and then as you lift your eyes up there is a small stained glass window.








As you look to the front of the church after entering you will not be disappointed because the interior is also elegant and simple and this was a welcoming place to walk into and stand and gaze around, which we did for quite some time.



There are three sections at the front but also there is the wooden stand just off centre which






holds the book of Sunday Service readings and if you look closely you may be able to see that it was open at the readings for the Sunday after Trinity which would fall within the week from 25th September to 1st October.
We were there on 25th September (our oldest son's birthday - it was his choice of where we would visit that day)

The Psalm for the day was Psalm 78 and the reading listed was from Ezekiel 18.









The left section at the front comprised of a simple wooden pulpit.








The right section at the front was the area where the Bible would be read.










In the centre at the front was the altar table and another beautiful simple stained glass window.  This time arched and depicting St. Patrick.








Also in the church there is some information about the church.








Looking from the front back towards the entrance we saw the quaint compact organ for the weekly church services.


The stonework inside and outside made this little church just perfect.







As you can see from the side view of the outside the church is not very long and the windows are narrow yet with the sun shining in through these windows there was plenty of light inside.







It is on this side wall that we find the foundation stone of the new church built in 1933 on the old original site - a beautiful commemoration to St. Patrick.







Other Posts related to St. Patrick can be found on our






5 Travel Books about Northern Ireland - Need Help?


People are always telling me they Want to visit Northern Ireland.

People are always telling me they are partly Irish but have never been to see Northern Ireland or Ireland.

People used to walk up to me when we lived in America and say "I just love your accent - say something"





People are always telling me they love Ireland but unfortunately most of the time they think Belfast and Dublin are in the same country and only an hour apart.


Well for anyone who wants to visit

 Northern Ireland

 here are

 5 travel books

 which might be helpful.



PLUS make sure to read on to get the EXTRA TIP at the end.





Round the Hidden Coast of Northern Ireland from A to Z





We have a great coastline and plenty of it.

Rocky crags,  tucked away bays,  spectacular peninsulas and luscious golden sandy beaches.

Then of course we must not forget the ruins, churches and castles etc.




A Walking guide for Northern Ireland






We may not have the sunny weather of Florida and Spain but we still have great places to discover by walking.

Our mountains are not just talked about worldwide, they are even sung about.

Then of course we must not forget the Dams and reservoirs which are great attractions.




Rick Steves Snapshot of Northern Ireland






Rick Steves is famous for these snapshot travel books so probably a good one for short glimpses of many places.





Belfast Travel Guide 2020







This is a very up-to-date guide to Belfast.

You will need to think about where to stay, where to eat, and what other entertainment is on offer and especially where to get a coffee or a wee cup of tea.






Lonely Planet Pocket Belfast & The Causeway Coast






This one may be handy one to get instead of buying the two above for Belfast and the Coastal areas as it is a pocket edition.

Also it is in kindle if you don't want the pocket paperback version.



Don't forget your extra tip below






EXTRA  TIP


Most of us like to take lots and lots of pictures when we travel but don't remember to take enough notes so that we remember later just where that amazing picture or the strange picture was taken.
Especially if you are like me and you get your days and your meals and your places all mixed up when there are so many in that fantastic trip we took the previous year.

I that sound a bit like you then this extra book might be something to consider buying or if you are "crafty" maybe you could take their idea and make one from a notebook.  Mind you I think a lot of notebooks are so expensive these days that this turns out to be very reasonable in price.



I Don't Need Therapy I Just Need to go to Northern Ireland








Whatever you decide I do think you really need to come to

 Northern Ireland

 and

 see our beautiful

 WEE Country.






Disclaimer:
I do not benefit from any purchases of these books.











N is for Newcastle - A to Z of Places I have Visited


I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.






Today I am writing about a place I have visited quite a few times and although I was brought up on the other side of the country from it I now live just 30 mins away by car.  I live in County Down Northern Ireland and this lovely seaside town is also in beautiful County Down.



County Down UK location map



I first remember going to Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland when I was a teenager and it holds fond memories for me of getting lost on the way up the mountain with a few others including the future Mr Black.

I'm the girl in between the two Freds and one of them is still beside me today.






Then many many years later after having lived abroad twice Fred and I moved back to Northern Ireland from Belgium and instead of returning to County Londonderry we chose to live on the eastern side of the country in Banbridge, County Down.






Banbridge is about 40 mins by car from Belfast in the North East and approximately 30 mins from Newcastle on the South East coast.

We have never lived as close to a Seaside Resort before but even so we have not been to Newcastle very often.


Newcastle is famous for the fact that it sits at the bottom of Slieve Donard "where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea".  This is taken from a line of a well-known Northern Ireland song written by Percy French and there is a restaurant on the northern part of the town beside the Famous Slieve Donnard Hotel named after this composer.

As you can see below the Mournes and the town of Newcastle are lovely on a bright clear day.


Newcastle Donard


This is the view along part of the main street of Newcastle looking towards Slieve Donard and the Mourne Mountains.  Yes that highest peak is the one that we were supposed to be climbing all those years previously but sadly did not get near the top.



In 2013 our second son got married and he and his bride had their wedding reception in Newcastle.

They had pictures taken in Belfast and then also when they reached Newcastle where it was mostly the family photos.  Imagine in a day at the end of October when it is well into autumn (known in Northern Ireland for the rain) and you are having wedding pictures taken in the late afternoon on the sea front in the wind and rain.






Yes you can well imagine how our hair got blown about and we felt a little chilly.


Later in the same year we were back in Newcastle. On one of our oldest sons visits back to us from England we decided to drive there on a dull December day.

Now Newcastle (as all the other seaside resorts in Northern Ireland) is well-known for its windy weather but this day it was exceptional.  We left Banbridge with clouds in the sky but at least it was dry.

30 mins later we were sitting in a car park along the sea front in Newcastle watching the wind, rain and crashing waves which were roaring along in a storm.  Needless to say on this visit to the seaside only one of us got out of the car.  Our son Jonathan dived out to take a picture and an extremely short video of the storm.  I took a picture and a video from inside the car (I had more sense just to lean out the window for minute).




The beautiful Mourne Mountains that my husband often admires are partly hidden in the mist.


We had some friends visit a few years later for just a few days at the end of March and we decided to go for a walk along the promenade in Newcastle.  This time it was so calm and warm we had to take off our coats and we all decided to have ice-cream.  Unfortunately no photo was taken this time as it was the early evening time and already dark.


If we had been there during the day we would have seen the calmness and brightness like in this picture below which shows the southern end towards the harbour.

© Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

No visit to Newcastle is complete without a walk alone the promenade which in recent years was picturesquely extended and includes a lovely bridge.  Each time we walk along it I say how nice it would be to live in one of the apartments alongside it which are overlooking the sea and Fred reminds me that yes I would enjoy it in the summertime.




Kent Amusements, Newcastle, County Down, September 2011


It is such a pity that Northern Ireland does not have warm sunny weather for a longer period of time in the year so that the town of Newcastle could be enjoyed more.

However there are many shops and some amusements to entertain visitors when the weather is not so dry.







If you missed any of the previous places in this series just click on the Titles below:

A for Alicante
B for Bratislava
C for Calpe
D for Durbuy
E for Ennis
F for Florida
G for Gran Canaria
H for HongKong
I for Islandmagee
J for Jersey
K for Killyleagh
L for Leeds
M for Monschau




Monschau - A to Z of Places I have Visited


I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.

So far we have got through 12 letters of the alphabet so nearly halfway through the series.





From August 2004 to December 2010 we lived in Belgium and because of that we have had extra opportunities to visit places we would not have heard of before or particularly thought of visiting previously.  Like The Durbuy Maze etc.

One of these places was the small town of Monshau in Germany.






Belgium and Germany share a border and just across that border from Belgium into Germany took us to that lovely picturesque location.


By Karte: NordNordWest, Lizenz: Creative Commons by-sa-3.0 de,
CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35392837



It was a lovely day for a Fred and I to take a trip to show my sister and brother-in-law (yes the one who is the subject of a previous blog post 10 Gift Ideas for Your Brother-in-law )  another place while they were on one of their annual visits to us.

We also had our son Jonathan with us and as he spoke German he definitely was not going to be left out for two reasons.  Firstly he loves to visit any new place especially anywhere that may have some old buildings and secondly I knew from experience that when visiting large towns & cities in European countries there will not be too many language problems as many of the people will speak a decent amount of English but in the smaller tons and villages there can be communication problems.


We arrived on that sunny morning and as we parked our car our first view of the town was gorgeous.





A beautiful house in a picturesque setting of a small bridge and stream - just like you might see on a jigsaw box.

While stopping here to take some photos we ended up with a very different photo of a visitor to my arm.

I tried to look it up in google later and it seems to be some form of beetle but isn't is so small & colourful.  I did not mind having this beetle walking up my arm.





Walking on into the town we spied a fun type of transport and of course we couldn't resist taking the little train ride around the town and the surrounding area which involved up and down the hilly location.  This ended up being a good move because we were able to walk around the higher area without having to walk up the hill or down the hill because of this perfect means of transport.





We took this photo of the two hubbies in front of our transport because all men love trains but in fact all 5 of us had a fun time on our train ride.


As I said Jonathan loves old buildings and we certainly had some of them to visit on this day trip.




Up the hill was the Castle of the Dukes of Julich and we enjoyed exploring around it with it's beautiful archway and so much still intact.   The walls around the castle are clearly seen from the town sitting well below it.


After spending quite some time here we took the train down again to the town to do some more sightseeing.


Something I love to see is a clock tower and I loved this view I had through the trees of a very clear to read clock.





Then I scanned on up and saw the Swan at the top and thought how pretty this was






This turned out to the be the top of the Reformed Church in Monschau.




the clock face here was blue and there was another clock at the market square which had a white face  but I must have forgotten to take a photo of it.



We had a look around inside the church and then Fred took a photo of the rest of us at the entrance.




There is a very ornate bridge leading across from the front of the church to the opposite street, just another thing to make this a very memorable town.



It was such a bright, sunny day that we stayed outside most of the time so did not go in to investigate the museum that was beside the Reformed church.  It was called the Foundation Scheibler Museum and is highly recommended as one of the places to visit in Monschau.


We are often more interested in finding somewhere to have a good coffee and sit and people watch in beautiful surroundings which is what we did here with plenty of places to choose from for our cuppa in the centre of the town.


There are also lots of old, pretty wooden houses along the riverbank in Monschau.  See how they hang out over the edge of the river because they are built right to the edge




and some even sit out precariously over the edge which makes me wonder about the architecture of these houses.

This white and black one to the left in the picture below really caught my attention because it seemed to have just been thrown together with it's walls ready to fall over because they were missing their support.  Plus the fact that most of it was not straight - one of the more unusual houses I have ever seen.  

I think it is so noticeable because it is close to the other white one which is so straight and upright.





I thought we would end now with a picture which encompasses the style of this village




the different types of buildings the lovely clock tower, the museum, the wooded hillside and the view of the castle walls.

I would definitely recommend a visit to this quaint town especially on a sunny day like we had.









If you missed any of the previous places in this series just click on the Titles below:

A for Alicante
B for Bratislava
C for Calpe
D for Durbuy
E for Ennis
F for Florida
G for Gran Canaria
H for HongKong
I for Islandmagee
J for Jersey
K for Killyleagh
L for Leeds