Report on Northern Ireland Trip (1)
22 May 2009
ATTENDEES: Mark, Malcolm, Kenny, Irene, Linda, Michael, Lydia, Dorothy, Gail, Maureen, Jacqui and Aileen.
The first pick up was at Woodlands Centre in Irvine at 11.30. Spirits were high as we set off in glorious sunshine to pick up the South Ayrshire contingency. Malcolm was our driver for today and made good time. Mark had prepared a music quiz for us and we got into pairs with a strict warning that cheats would be disqualified!!! As if!!! It was a great quiz and was perfectly timed to end just as we arrived at Cairnryan, including a stop at Girvan for chips.
We arrived at Cairnryan to discover the boat was delayed by an hour but that didn?t dampen our spirits as we sat outside and savoured the afternoon sun till it was time to board.
Malcolm helped Mark to check the quiz results and then the answers were read out and placings read out in reverse order. Not being one to blow my own trumpet, it is kind of hard to say, without sounding smug, that Gail and I came first and were eight and a half points ahead of the second place team. Lol. Prize giving over, we were then issued with the general knowledge quiz. Oh dear, this was much harder than last year?s quiz and again we were warned about cheating. We set about searching the boat for clues. Lydia, the minx, managed to find six friendly Irishmen to help her and handed her completed form back within hours of getting it. The rest of us would plague locals over the next few days for answers. When we landed, Malcolm continued the drive and we stopped at the Crown Bar in Belfast which is a Victorian pub owned by the National Trust and is opposite the Europa Hotel, the most bombed hotel in the world. We took some nice photos here. After that, it was a mad dash to get to Carryduff where we were booked for our evening meal. It?s a very nice, modern restaurant and the food was lovely. We all had a taste of a local delicacy, champ. Hmm, I?m sure that is an answer in the quiz!
Next stop was the Maghera Inn for a quick drink before we finally got to Meelmore Lodge, which would be our home for the next two nights. We unpacked and plans were made for morning while we had a wee nightcap. It seemed we were sharing the hostel with a group of twelve lovely young girls who were there on a hen weekend. That cheered the guys up no end. Unbelievably they were all teetotal.