Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Nice walk around the lake, and getting caught up with our friend Cathy

Once again, we were up early and we drove right away to make it through the big city of Belfast before traffic picked up. We parked up at the town of Royal Hillsborough at Hillsborough Lake parking. 

Good thing we got there early because it didn't take long for the early morning dog walkers and joggers to arrive. 

There's a nice 2 km trail around the lake, as well as picnic tables and a huge free playground for the kids. It's a popular spot.

We contacted our friend Cathy who lives about a half hour away and she agreed to meet us at the lake around lunchtime. Cathy was one of the participants on our crazy train ride trip in Mauritania last January.

We went for a stroll around the lake while we waited for Cathy.

It turned into a pretty nice day!

The first Irish airplane flight took place near here in 1909.


There are lots of odd sculptures along the path.

And there's a fantastic huge free playground for kids.

The lake is really pretty.

Scenery along the way.

A few obstacles to keep the path interesting.

Momma swan and her cygnets.

Cathy showed up and we went for a walk around town and looked for somewhere to have some lunch. Great to get caught up with her. While we have booked the trip to Turkmenistan this October, she has booked a trip to Iraq. It's with the same guy who ran our Mauritania trip. Her Iraq trip takes place just before our Turkmenistan trip.

Wandering around Royal Hillsborough.

Royal Hillsborough really is "royal". This is where the Royal Family stay when they visit Northern Ireland. In fact, King Charles and Queen Camilla were just here in May.



This pub is attractive.

The local church is interesting.

Cathy, Kevin, and Ruth.

Us!

Scenery in Hillsborough.

I like the church and setting.

Hillsborough Fort.

Hillsborough Castle.

The royal residence is very plain on the outside, as far as "castles" go. Apparently the gardens are quite pretty but you have to pay to get in and as with anything touristy in Ireland, it's not cheap.

Ussie, with Kevin, Ruth, and Cathy.

Cathy, Kevin, and Ruth.

Lots of fun getting caught up with Cathy, as well as giving us more insight on the Ireland situation from a Northern Irish perspective.

We decided to stay put for the night, and we moved on again early this morning.

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