I don’t have many updates from this past week.

I went to the bank on Saturday to order my Euros; I like to have ample time when I order anything just in case.  They arrived at the bank yesterday so I swung by and picked them up.  It was so easy to just go through the bank – plus they didn’t charge any fees for the service.  It cost so much to have to exchange currency at the airport.  The first and last time I did that I decided it was cheaper to just blow all of the Canadian dollars I had rather than exchange it back!

I can now rest assured since I have my chump change for food and souvenirs!

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The worst part of trip planning is trying to maximize the destinations while limiting travel time without over booking every single day of the trip.  The way I look at it, I might not ever get another chance to visit a place again so I need to cover everything.  That being said, I’ve been playing around with all of the possibilities of things to do while on this trip.  So, I’ve decided the best way to tackle my trip planning is to break it down in segments by city.  By the title you’ve probably guessed what my first segment is – Belfast.

Belfast, by far, is going to be the easiest segment to plan for this trip.  The Titanic was built here and I’ve always been obsessed with anything related to the Titanic.  So that sums up my main focus of this city.  I’m the type of person that likes to have all of my ducks in a row as soon as possible.  What that means is that my time is already booked for Titanic Belfast!  I am pretty excited for this place, check it out for yourself  The thing that I already love about this museum are all of the minor details that were put in place to really capture all of your attention.  There are benches around the outside plaza that are spaced out to simulate Morse code for what was sent as a distress signal to other ships.  There are also lights on the plaza that outline the ships (the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic) to put their true size into perspective.  In my opinion, things like this really set museums apart from the rest.

Titanic Slipways

I also purchased the Hop On Hop Off bus tour so I’d have transportation within the city.  This will also provide me with a tour of the murals and peace wall when I am finished absorbing all of the Titanic information as I can.  I really want to see the murals from both sides.  History is so often skewed by the victors so I really like to study both sides of an issue.  What makes these so unique is that these serve as a line of communication from those who lived it to the current and future generations.  This is that rare history that was written by those who lived it.  These may not be around forever as I would imagine the city would not want to carry a Berlin-like image with their own peace wall and whatnot despite the want to preserve their history.

There are still a few things that I’ll have to book, but it was too early right now.  Train tickets from Dublin to Belfast and back or else I’m not going to see any of the things I’ve mentioned.  Also, I want to do the Titanic Walking Tour before the museum,  This will keep the engineer in me fully interested with the tour of the drawing offices, the slipway, and the dry dock and pump-room.  I’m the type with history I have to be there and experience where the events took place and take a chance to somewhat walk in their shoes.  This day will probably be pushing my limits as I am expecting to take a train from Dublin at 7:30AM and catch the last one from Belfast at 8:00PM; I guess that’s what coffee is for.  Only 70 days until I’m in Ireland!

Possible Itinerary

Alright, so I think I have narrowed my Ireland destinations down to a manageable handful.

Fly out of the US to Dublin.  Stay 2 days in Dublin.  Head out to Galway and stay 3 days.  Next stop will be Doolin where I’ll stay 1.5 days.  Ennis will wrap up the trip with 1.5 days.  The last day I will fly out of Shannon back to the US.

I really wanted to narrow down my locations to decide which airports to fly into and out of.  I’ll spend the next leg of research looking at things to do, where to stay, etc.  Depending on what I find, the days in each city may be adjusted.