"Left to Live" - A 23-Day Motorcycle Adventure Around UK and Ireland...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TravisGill, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Lucky: For sure! Star Wars bad?: I like, most of, the Star Wars movies and it's the reason we learned about Skellig Island. However, after visiting, I feel the island is more about the history and religious freedom of the monks who carved out a harsh existence there. Filming a science fiction movie there should not distract from that. Just my two euro cents.
    #61
    Shaggie likes this.
  2. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    914
    History is my thing, that comment was meant to be somewhat sarcastic. I totally agree with your take on the history of the place. Finding it and executing on the idea in the midst of a large trip is outstanding.
    #62
    TravisGill likes this.
  3. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Day 8 - Fri, 31 Aug (cont…)

    [​IMG]
    We worked up quite an appetite hiking the stone stairways in Skellig; Time for an early dinner at Smugglers Cafe in Portmagee.

    [​IMG]
    The restaurant was decorated with seaside and nautical art pieces.

    [​IMG]
    I find the look of a high-quality colored chart to be very appealing.

    [​IMG]
    A rope covered hanging lamp lit our table.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The clam chowder was some of the BEST we’ve ever eaten.

    I would have been very content finding a hotel room in Portmagee and relaxing for the night, but we needed to move along while we still had some daylight.

    [​IMG]
    The Ring of Kerry continues north through the town of Cahirciveen – population 1,041.

    [​IMG]
    During a fuel stop this dog kept barking at us. Perhaps he wanted to ride on our mules instead of his Toyota?

    [​IMG]
    Monument to St. Brendan the Navigator by Éamonn O'Doherty is a sculpture that represents the monks’ voyage to the monastery at Skellig Michael.

    [​IMG]
    We continued heading northish along the route marked the “Wild Atlantic Way”.

    [​IMG]
    All hail King Puck, Lord Goat of Killorglin! This statue of King Puck in Killorglin, Ireland is a monument to the country’s oldest festival, the Puck Fair.

    [​IMG]
    During this ancient celebration, a wild male goat (known as a “puck”) is crowned king of the town for three days before being returned to his normal life in the Irish hills, his royalty all but ignored by his fellow goats.

    [​IMG]
    Continuing along the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Route.

    Today was a great day! One of the greatest!!
    #63
    TonyKZ1, Shaggie, Saso and 6 others like this.
  4. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Day 9 - Sat, 01 Sep:

    [​IMG]
    We covered quite a bit of ground today in order to get back on schedule – 350 km! That’s a lot for us. We continued clockwise along the Wild Atlantic Coastal Route of Ireland’s west coast, stopping at Clare Abbey Burial Ground, Cliffs of Moher, and Aughnaure Castle. We found a campsite, well after dark, at Kings Caravan & Campsite.

    [​IMG]
    “Did you see that sign?” This ended up being an impromptu spot that we discovered from the highway.

    [​IMG]
    Heading to the ruins of Clare Abbey. The abbey was founded in 1195

    [​IMG]
    Could this cool place really be without any tourists?

    [​IMG]
    No people to disturb? Time to fly the drone and captured some great videos that we’ll post in a future video of our trip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The Celtic cross seems to be the gravestone of choice for most Irish.

    Story: This is a bit creepy, but during our visit I heard voices of children laughing in a playground. I just shrugged it off because sound can travel in peculiar ways...

    [​IMG]
    ...however, as we were leaving the site, Chantil mentioned she also heard voices!

    [​IMG]
    The weird thing is that there was nothing around except for some cows and goats in the surrounding fields. Why the sounds of children playing at school on a Saturday? Haunted? Nah.

    [​IMG]
    Next stop, the Cliffs of Moher. The entrance fee of 8 euros included parking for our mules.

    [​IMG]
    The famous Cliffs of Moher!

    [​IMG]
    Pinnacle Rock. Pan around to see the bay from 200 meters above.

    [​IMG]
    It was a perfect day. The sun was warm. Musicians were playing Irish songs. People were smiling. We were in Ireland!

    [​IMG]
    The word “Mothar” means ruined fort in ancient Gaelic. A fort from the 1st century BC stood at Hags Head where Moher Tower now stands.

    [​IMG]
    O'Brien's Tower was a popular spot for taking pictures and enjoying the views. The tower was built in 1835 as an observation spot for Victorian tourists

    [​IMG]
    Pinnacle Rock.

    [​IMG]
    A group of young adults relaxing in the grass above the cliff walls. Just a few feet from the guy on the left is the edge where it drops 200 meters onto a rocky shore.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Cows enjoying the afternoon sunshine and multitude of fresh green grass. By the way, that fence is electric. Guess how I know?

    [​IMG]
    A black bird enjoying his perch above all the tourists.

    [​IMG]
    Just up the road from the Cliffs of Moher is this restaurant called Stonecutters Kitchen. We sat next to an older Irish couple who recommended...

    [​IMG]
    ... the Traditional Beef and Guinness Stew with Cidona apple drink. It was delicious!

    [​IMG]
    Although we were pushing to get back on our scheduled timeline, we did stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.

    [​IMG]
    The narrow roads combined with the sunny weather made riding a joy today!

    [​IMG]
    Near the end of the day we came across a sign pointing to Aughnaure Castle. Why not? We parked our mules and walked past a pasture to a walking trail leading to the castle.

    [​IMG]
    We ended up being the last tourists of the day. We walked around as the caretaker was tidying up the castle.

    [​IMG]
    The picture shows what the original looked like when it was built in the 16th century.

    [​IMG]
    The design and wood of the rafters of the ceiling.

    [​IMG]
    It seems a lot of castles we went into have this murder hole where you could pour hot coals or shoot arrows down on unwanted guests.

    [​IMG]
    The castle owner and caretaker is a loving and kind lady that showed us the keys to her castle. The keys looked just like you would expect castle keys to look like.

    [​IMG]
    The caretaker was such a warm and friendly lady. Meeting wonderful people is part of the adventure!

    [​IMG]
    It was well after dark before me made it to Kings Caravan & Campsite. It was so late that the office was closed but Chantil was able to find the camp host who opened the bathroom doors for us.
    #64
    TonyKZ1, Giantstep, Shaggie and 12 others like this.
  5. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,050
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    Loving it Travis - homesickness is up to 90 now! Keep the awesomeness coming.
    #65
  6. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Thanks! We still have three more travel days of Ireland and Northern Ireland ahead.
    #66
  7. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Day 10 - Sun, 02 Sep:

    A day of aviation history, rainbows, church attendance, and more exploring of the beautiful Irish coastline.

    [​IMG]
    450 km today! Unfortunately, we passed by some great places that would have been worth the stop. On a positive note, we are closer to being on our planned schedule for our trip. We were definitely ready for some sleep once we reached Northern Ireland.

    [​IMG]
    Ask most Americans who was the first person to fly a plane non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean and they will most likely tell you Charles Lindbergh. They would be wrong. Lindbergh was actually the 19th person to fly non-stop across the Atlantic.

    [​IMG]
    In a remote bog of northwestern Ireland known as Derrigimlagh,…

    [​IMG]
    …two British aviators, John Alcock and Arthur Brown, completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.

    [​IMG]
    Their landing wasn’t glamorous, but they completed the trip in less than 16 hours.

    [​IMG]
    The hike out to the “landing” site is not difficult but it is shared by sheep. Watch out for their droppings.

    [​IMG]
    The site where John Alcock and Arthur Brown landed was definitely a rough boggy landscape. It’s surprising they were not seriously injured in the landing.

    [​IMG]
    A simple white cone marks the site where aviation history was made in 1919.

    [​IMG]
    A display shows the damaged Vickers Vimy bomber where it “landed”.

    [​IMG]
    Some may wonder why they decided to land here but it’s important to remember that the ground looks much different from the air and they had been airborne for nearly 16 hours with some pretty terrifying icing and storms.

    [​IMG]
    The two aviators who made aviation history - John Alcock and Arthur Brown.

    [​IMG]
    As if it wasn’t crazy enough, they brought two cats with them on the plane!! Actually, I read that wrong... Two toy cats were given to them for the journey. One of them, named Twinkle Toes, later flew a similar flight 60 years later in a RAF F-4 Phantom. The F-4 was a bit faster at only six hours and it landed without mishap. Twinkle Toes is in the RAF Museum in Cosford, England.

    As an aviation buff, I enjoyed the remote and quite corner of Derrigimlagh. However, this experience made me question my education since I had no idea about Alcock and Brown growing up. Perhaps the textbooks in the United States tend to focus on American accomplishments? After all, Charles Lindbergh was an American born in Detroit.

    We continued along the route, making good time in order to attend church services in the town of Sligo. Along the way, the rain clouds lifted and we had the joy of experiencing one of the brightest rainbows we’ve seen for quite some time.

    [​IMG]
    It’s no wonder rainbows are often associated with Ireland. This was one of the most vivid rainbows I seen in recent history.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Along the way we noticed the Church of St Joseph and St Conal in the town of Donegal.

    [​IMG]
    It was open so we peeked inside...

    [​IMG]
    ...to find this charming altar...

    [​IMG]
    ...and beautifully designed stained-glass window.

    We decided to take a diversion to Bunglass Point, based on a recommendation from some motorcyclist we met at church earlier.

    [​IMG]
    In many ways, I feel the BMW G650GS is the ideal adventure motorcycle. It's not too heavy, a world traveled proven engine with adequate power for riding on highways, gets great fuel mileage, has more cargo capacity than we’ll ever use, is easy to maintain, and doesn't cost much. The cost of purchasing, outfitting, and customizing our two mules was about 14K USD.

    [​IMG]
    On our way to Teelin we stopped to take some picture of grounded, broken-hulled boats.

    [​IMG]
    The Rusty Mackerel near Donegal looked like a nice place to eat but we only stopped long enough to snap a photo of their mural.

    [​IMG]
    The mules parked at Bunglass Point.

    [​IMG]
    Although, I would have liked to see more of the coast, the day was getting late. Bunglass Point ended up being our last stop before we reached Northern Ireland.

    [​IMG]
    Welcome to Northern Ireland! Time to switch our GPS units to miles per hour, put away our Euros, and pull out our Pound sterling.
    *Picture from www.thesun.ie

    It seems many are in support of the Irish reunification where the whole of Ireland would be a single sovereign state. This is a complicated and emotionally charged issue for lots of Irish folks on both side of the border. As an American who was just traveling through, I don’t feel I have the history, information, or the right to form an opinion. I just hope for a democratic and peaceful agreement for the future of Ireland.

    Tomorrow is Day 11! Join us, along with some wonderful sunny weather, as we continue our travels clockwise around Northern Ireland…
    #67
    TonyKZ1, Shaggie, Steve06 and 8 others like this.
  8. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    24,026
    Location:
    Masshole
    I believe Lindburgh was the first solo crossing of the Atlantic ? You are correct, US TV pretty much ignores the achievements of the rest of the world - case in point, the coverage of the Olympics has pretty much zero coverage of any other country than the US. As a kid growing up in England, we were well aware of Alcock and Brown

    As for Northern Ireland - it's for the people of Northern Ireland to decide if they wish to leave the United Kingdom and them alone...

    Sorry, you did ask :D

    Great ride report :clap
    #68
  9. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Thanks for the comment. Yes, Lindburgh was the first SOLO crossing of the Atlantic - 8 years after Alcock and Brown. I feel your comment about Northern Ireland is spot on. Glad you are enjoying the report. Cheers!
    #69
  10. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Day 11 - Mon, 03 Sep:

    A few days ago, we were talking to a gentleman about our plans to ride around Ireland clockwise to Northern Ireland. He responded, “Northern Ireland is always rainy, cold, and cloudy.”
    Our experience was the opposite - sunny and relatively warm. Luck of the Irish for us!

    [​IMG]
    Only 102 miles (165 km) of riding today. We experienced the beauty of Northern Ireland’s north coast: Downhill House and Mussenden Temple, Giant Causeway, and The Dark Hedges. Then we rode south to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland and the birthplace of the RMS Titanic.

    [​IMG]
    Sunny with white fluffy clouds this morning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Dry roads. No raingear. It’s going to be a great day!

    [​IMG]
    Our first stop, and right along the northern coast, was the Downhill House. This palatial home was built in the late 18th century but was destroyed by a fire in 1851.

    [​IMG]
    The nearby Mussenden Temple was built in 1785. It is perched picture perfectly on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

    [​IMG]
    An inscription around the outside of the building reads “"Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem."; meaning "Tis pleasant, safely to behold from shore. The troubled sailor, and hear the tempests roar."

    [​IMG]
    I imagine it was quite a nice place to study or just look out over the ocean below.

    [​IMG]
    The Downhill House is now just stone steps and walls ever since a fire destroyed it in 1851. It was rebuilt but then fell into disrepair after WW2.

    [​IMG]
    I imagine it must have been quite the elegant residence.

    [​IMG]
    Since there were relatively few visitors, we launched the drone to capture some video and this photo of the Downhill House. Here is one of my favorites.

    [​IMG]
    Looking down at the foundation and layout.

    [​IMG]
    Passing through the seaside town of Portstewart.

    [​IMG]
    Dunluce Castle sits proudly on the cliff edge surrounding by cows.

    [​IMG]
    Originally built in the 13th century; the last resident lived there until the 1690s. It’s been slowly deteriorated ever since but is now managed by the Northern Irish Environment Agency.

    [​IMG]
    The views from the coastal road are some of the best.

    As we got closer towards Giant’s Causeway, I started to get a bit nervous. Were we heading into another tourist trap? The multitude of tourist buses and large parking lots suggested that it would be.

    Travel advice: Do not park in the visitor’s center parking area and pay the £11.50. There are much cheaper alternatives that are just a short walk away. We parked by the train station for £5.00

    [​IMG]
    The visitors center is definitely a unique architectural design that was built to compliment the basalt columns of the Causeway. We didn’t go inside because of the high cost.

    [​IMG]
    The walking trails, Causeway, ocean views, and today's sun was all free.

    [​IMG]
    I definitely recommend taking the Red Trail since it’s less crowded and give great views from the cliffs above.

    [​IMG][
    There were even blackberry bushes…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Some benches had some informative wood carvings on them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We even found this lady bug that kept moving making getting this picture difficult.

    [​IMG]
    The Red Trail winds down the cliff and drops you into this picturesque beach.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Love the different colors of lichen on the dark rocks.

    [​IMG]
    There are over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that make up the Giant Causeway.

    [​IMG]
    These unique shapes and columns are the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.

    [​IMG]
    The ocean waves splash against the lower columns turning them into a darker color.

    [​IMG]
    Lots of folks!

    [​IMG]
    The parking lot uses the unique but complimentary hexagonal patterns.

    Giant’s Causeway, you surprised me! I thought you would be a tourist trap but your many miles of trails and views from the cliffs above the Causeway made the visit definitely worth the time.

    [​IMG]
    The nearby restaurant called The Nook had tasty sandwiches and a side of potato and lentil soup.

    We continued along the coast enjoying the views, and wonderful sun, along the way...
    #70
  11. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,805
    When (notice I said "when"...not "if" for I know you've only scratched the itch a bit!) you go back you may want to traipse over to see the Gallarus Oratory near Ballydavid on the Dingle Peninsula. Said to be the last one still standing.....built in similar fashion to beehive huts (the remains of some you can see along they way to this site) but a rectangular footprint. There was, and may still be, a campground practically next door, run by a very nice family whose house is onsite. I'd recommend seeing the Oratory early in the morning before the tour buses start creeping up the lane. Nearby you should spy the remains of a keep peeking up behind some farm buildings. A bit ruined but charming. Years ago the lad of the family whose land it's on charged me 50p for a guided tour and a fine time it was! There's also the ruin of a church over in Ballydavid with Irish cross headstones in the yard, some of which have ogham inscriptions, and one of which was designed to work as a sundial. Had the place all to ourselves, which is typical for many sites in Eire. I see there is a round tower next to that nice church you visited. Round towers are cool, with origins still debated today. You may wish to check out Scattery Island just offshore in the Shannon. Formerly the home of fishermen and river pilots, the population moved to the mainland years ago (largely to the village of Cappa). When I was there years ago you paid a fisherman to drop you off and pick you up but I understand there is now daily service from the Kilrush marina and that Irish Heritage has a small visitor's center on the island. The remains of the village are there, as well as a ruined church, monastery, and Saint Senan's tomb, and the tallest round tower there is.
    #71
    TonyKZ1, TravisGill and ubermick like this.
  12. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    24,026
    Location:
    Masshole
    Just a small correction....it's RMS Titanic and not HMS Titanic. The ship was a commercial ship (hence the RMS) and not a ship of The Royal Navy (Her Majesty's Ship).

    Wonderful pictures - we went to the Causeway years ago and it was quite the sight.
    #72
  13. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Thanks for the edit - fixed. Glad the pictures reminded you of your trip. Cheers!
    #73
  14. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Blader54, thanks for adding some great places to see and experience!
    #74
  15. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Report on hold awhile; I’m away on a business trip in Greece. It’s a beautiful area, but, unfortunatly, no motorcycle. I’ll get back to posting early next week.
    #75
    scudo likes this.
  16. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Day 11 - Mon, 03 Sep (continued…)

    [​IMG]
    The northern coast continues to impress! White Park Bay.

    [​IMG]
    Looking northeast to where the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is located. It would have been fun to cross the bridge, but it was very crowded, and we wanted to push on to Belfast before the evening.

    On the way to Belfast, we stopped at the Dark Hedges. Signs directed us to a parking area since cars and motorcycles are not allowed to drive through the hedges.

    [​IMG]
    The Dark Hedges. It was bright and sunny today, but the trees still do a good job of blocking out a good portion of the light. It would have been fun to walk through this area at sunset or on a misty morning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    A bit more menacing in black and white?

    [​IMG]
    On the walking path back to the parking lot we came across a village of sorts with tiny houses made for Smurfs or something that sized.

    [​IMG]
    Nice Smurf duplex! I would live next to Smurfette!

    [​IMG]
    There was actually quite a lot of things to do in the area, but we had to press on to Belfast before the Titanic Experience closes.

    [​IMG]
    This is farm country with narrow roads and wide tractors.

    [​IMG]
    It was difficult to put down my camera with so much memorable scenery passing by.

    [​IMG]
    Bummer! We arrived at the Titanic Experience a half hour to late. Apparently, the last tickets are sold two hours before the closing time. Read the fine print! We’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning if we want to see the museum. We decided to spoil ourselves and book a room at the Titanic Hotel. No more bummer!

    Belfast, Northern Ireland is known for many things but arguably the most famous is the birthplace of the RMS Titanic. This modern architecture was created right next to shipyard, Harland and Wolff, that created this historic vessel. Besides being quite beautiful, it houses the Titanic Experience, a museum and interactive experience that takes you on a journey through the early 1900s. More about the Titanic Experience tomorrow…

    [​IMG]
    A modern building shaped to represent the forward hull of a massive ship. The height of the structure is the same height of the RMS Titanic’s hull at 126 feet (38 m) high.

    [​IMG]
    The building and experience were completed on 31 Mar 2012. The same day the Titanic was launched in 1911.

    [​IMG]
    Modern architecture and sculptures make for a dramatic icon to the city of Belfast.

    [​IMG]
    Inside looking out is also dramatic with views of the city and shipyard.

    [​IMG]
    The building's façade is clad in 3,000 individual silver anodized aluminum shards. It glistens in the sun and some locals have, ironically, nicknamed the building “The Iceberg”.

    [​IMG]
    The texture of the shards and dark glass contrast nicely.

    [​IMG]
    As a photographer who loves modern architecture, it was difficult to put my camera down.

    [​IMG]
    Quite a striking and beautiful building that will bring visitors to Belfast to remember the great ship RMS Titanic.

    We checked into the hotel and then decided to walk around the city and get some dinner at the nearby shopping center.

    [​IMG]
    That’s one fat pigeon! He was so fat and lazy that he didn’t move as I got near him for the picture.

    [​IMG]
    We decided to walk into the shopping area and grab some chow. Along the way we enjoyed sculptures and architecture of Belfast.

    [​IMG]
    A fun sculpture titled Titanic Kit reminds me of the plastic models I used to build as a kid. This sculpture was made by Harland and Wolff, the Titanic's original builders.

    [​IMG]
    Belfast has some very modern architecture. The Obel Tower is the tallest storeyed building in Ireland.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The Boat by TODD Architects and Planners is a mixed development featuring leisure, commercial, and residential areas all in one unique building.

    [​IMG]
    Holy Mackerel! That one big fish sculpture! Actually it’s a Salmon; The Salmon of Knowledge is a printed ceramic mosaic sculpture by John Kindness and is a whopper of a fish at 10-metre-long (33 ft)!

    [​IMG]
    The outer skin of the fish is a cladding of ceramic tiles decorated with texts and images with each scale "telling a story about the city".

    [​IMG]
    The Victoria Square Shopping Centre has many restaurants and shops.

    [​IMG]
    The nice guy who was managing the parking garage gave us some dinner advise and recommended Cosmo. An Asian all-you-can-eat place with excellent food and service.

    [​IMG]
    This was plate one of three! One of the best all-you-can-eat restaurants I’ve been to.

    The evening walk to the hotel from Cosmo was also enjoyable...

    [​IMG]
    The large dome covering the Victoria shopping center was lit up with purple lighting.

    [​IMG]
    An interesting shrine sculpture just outside the Victoria shopping center.

    [​IMG]
    Beacon of Hope by Andy Scott.

    [​IMG]
    The Titanic Belfast lit up for the night.

    [​IMG]
    Close-up of the evening colors.

    [​IMG]
    Our home for the night - Titanic Hotel Belfast.

    Tomorrow is a new day! We’ll be exploring the Titanic Hotel Belfast and the Titanic Experience in the morning, followed by a short ride to the Dublin area…
    #76
    TonyKZ1, Tigerswift, Shaggie and 8 others like this.
  17. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    24,026
    Location:
    Masshole
    :clap

    Loving this ride report.
    #77
    TravisGill likes this.
  18. TravisGill

    TravisGill Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Germany
    Day 12 - Tue, 04 Sep:

    [​IMG]
    Only a short 150 km of riding today since we spent most of the morning in Belfast.

    We enjoyed a relaxing morning touring the Titanic Hotel while taking in all the design elements and 1900’s era posters and pictures that decorate this unique hotel experience.

    [​IMG]
    Titanic Hotel has a well-designed logo incorporating an anchor into the letter ‘T’.

    [​IMG]
    Our room - 214! Even the room numbers are a classy shadow casting projected from a laser-cut metal plate.

    [​IMG]
    The front door looks like a slab of riveted iron.

    [​IMG]
    A nicely appointed room in dark, masculine, colors.

    [​IMG]
    Nautical appointed lighting.

    [​IMG]
    Posters from the early 1900s highlight the success of White Star Lines.

    [​IMG]
    Photograph of the launching of Titanic.

    [​IMG]
    The elevator is decorated with classy embossed coverings.

    [​IMG]
    A stairwell in this hotel is one that you actually prefer taking over the elevator.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Artists representation of the launching of the Titanic and the Olympic.

    [​IMG]
    RMS Olympic

    After exploring around the hotel, we made our way to the breakfast area.

    [​IMG]
    The Titanic Hotel knows how to do breakfast! This is the juice bar...

    [​IMG]
    ..and a small sampling of all the delicious food. Cheese and grapes are good with any meal.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Some of the details of wall decorations of the hotel.

    [​IMG]
    Art and pictures reminiscent of the best years of the White Star Line era.

    [​IMG]
    Posters are proudly displayed around the hotel.

    [​IMG]
    Some of the furnishings that are in the lounge and bar area of the hotel.

    After breakfast we made our way next door to the Titanic Belfast.

    [​IMG]
    The reflecting pool makes for an elegant and bold architectural structure.

    [​IMG]
    No Photoshop filter – this is an effect created from the reflection of the Titanic Belfast.

    The Titanic Experience is a self-guided tour through 9 interactive galleries that explore the full Titanic story. Cost: £12.50 per adult. Well worth it considering that the experience lasts about two hours.

    [​IMG]
    The tour starts in the early 1900s with Belfast being a booming town. Many people are employed in either the shipyard or textile industry. It seemed like a great time to live in Belfast, especially if you had money.

    [​IMG]
    If you had money you could invest in manufacturing. If you didn’t then you were working to make end meet – working long and hard hours.

    [​IMG]
    Irish-British relations were a point of contention in the early 1900s. Some would say they still are today.

    [​IMG]
    A map of Belfast in the early 1900s.

    [​IMG]
    The tour did a great job of showing how difficult it was for the workers. 56 hours was the norm and under harsh conditions with little, if any, safety gear.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This part of the tour took you through the process of heating a rivet, tossing it up to the workers, and then holding it in place and hammering the molten steel into place before it hardened. A ship the size of Titanic used three million rivets.

    [​IMG]
    Monarchs of the Sea

    [​IMG]
    31 May 1911, the launching of the Titanic.

    [​IMG]
    Original tickets to the launch event.

    [​IMG]
    This shows where Titanic was launched in relation to the Titanic Belfast building of today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    An expansive window shows where the launching took place in 1911.

    [​IMG]
    A balcony, located between displays, lets you see the inside of Titanic Belfast from the upper floor looking down.

    [​IMG]
    Look at the size of these boilers! 24 double-ended and five single-ended boilers fed two reciprocating steam engines for the wing propellers, and a low-pressure turbine for the center propeller.

    [​IMG]
    The 2 outer propellers had a diameter of 23 feet and the center propeller had a diameter of 17 feet.

    [​IMG]
    An example of the White Star Line china used on the Titanic.

    [​IMG]
    Sadly, the Titanic only visited three ports before crossing the Atlantic to New York. She never arrived...

    [​IMG]
    ... because she struck an Iceberg at 11:40 PM on 14 Apr 1912.

    [​IMG]
    By 2:20AM she sank below of surface. She was only outfitted with 20 life boats which was a contributing factor in the deaths of 1,517 people - 832 passengers and 685 crew members.

    [​IMG]
    The arrival of Titanic in New York City. Sadly, this never happened. Perhaps there is an alternate reality, where the Titanic successfully arrived in New York and delivers all of her passengers and crew safely to Pier 54. It makes me wonder what kind of future each of those people would have had?

    Experiencing Titanic Belfast, the Titanic Hotel, and the Titanic Experience provided the best opportunity to learn more about the tragic story of the Titanic. It also gave me an appreciation of the building process and the legendary shipping company White Star Line.

    [​IMG]
    The TX4 is a purpose-built taxicab manufactured by The London Taxi Company.

    [​IMG]
    After the Titanic Experience we went across the street to tour the only ship the remains of the White Star Line fleet.

    [​IMG]
    The SS Nomadic was built in 1911 as a tender to transfer passengers and mail to and from RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic. In shallow ports, a tender would be required to deliver passengers to the deep draft vessels like the Olympic and Titanic.

    [​IMG]
    A photograph of Nomadic heading to Olympic.

    [​IMG]
    An interactive hologram display tell the history of the SS Nomadic.

    [​IMG]
    Cubbies for luggage being transferred.

    [​IMG]
    She was well outfitted with different class sections that delivered you in style to the cruise ship.

    [​IMG]
    The Nomadic was used in both world wars as a auxiliary minesweeper, patrol ship, and for ferrying troops.

    [​IMG]
    These hulls have quite a history.

    [​IMG]
    Some of the original sailors aboard. By the looks of the kid on the right, this was before child labor laws.

    [​IMG]
    I always thought that large ships like the Titanic were built strictly to shuttle the rich and famous from port to port in opulence. A vast majority of passengers were regular folks migrating to the United States.

    [​IMG]
    Just some of the details of the Nomadic. Rust and all.

    [​IMG]
    A unique colored orange was used throughout the bottom section of the ship. Perhaps it was chosen to hide the rust?

    [​IMG]
    The exhaust vents were not needed any longer once the engine were converted from their original steam boilers but they were kept to retain the look of the original.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    After Belfast we made our way to North Beach Caravan Park. We went for a walk on the beach before eating a light dinner and then going to sleep.

    [​IMG]
    A cloudy and cool September evening.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Two teen-age girls were laughing and enjoying the setting sun from the cliff above.

    This is our last evening in Ireland. Tomorrow we board a ferry for the Isle of Man...
    #78
    TonyKZ1, Tigerswift, scudo and 10 others like this.
  19. Dread

    Dread Putt-Putt Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Awesome ride report. Your photography is incredible!
    #79
    TravisGill likes this.
  20. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,427
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    In!

    Just discovered this RR yesterday and reading as fast as I can!

    Fellow StarWars fan here ( was in at The Start!)

    Greetings from NZ :wave

    Shane
    #80
    TravisGill likes this.