It's Finally Raining

We have been in Belfast for a week now and today is the first day of rain. All of Aaron's wishful thinking that we were going to bring the sunshine with us worked, until now.

It has been a while since I have updated this blog. I didn't realise quite a long until I just logged on.

After our short stay in Siena, in the lovely Tuscan hills, we caught the train back to Florence and then onto Venice. Our trip on the Eurostar Italia was very nice and the time flew as we were talking to a very interesting lady from San Francisco who was sitting next to me. Aaron was definitely impressed with Venice when we arrived. I almost got sick of him pointing out all of the boats to me. He was just like a big kid. Our hotel was basic and had no lift which meant 2 flights of stairs each time we wanted to go to our room, but it was easy to find and although on a main street was not very noisy at night. We spent most of our time in Venice just wandering around the street, I mean canals, which was very easy to do. We did catch a boat to the island of Murano which is the home of the glass blowing. There was so many nice glass pieces we would have loved to buy but didn't for fear of not getting them home in one piece. The glass Christmas trees were amazing. We did buy a few small pieces which we think we will be able to bring home without breaking which is good. Oh, and we did go on a gondola ride, which was lovely but very very expensive. We almost had to sell one of Aaron's kidneys to pay for it. (Only joking. The budget is going fine, we are surprisingly under budget. More money for shopping in Paris and Singapore, yeaahhh).

After our 3 nights in Venice we ventured onto Bergamo, near Milan, a city we knew absolutely nothing about except that it has an airport. We were pleasantly surprised by our nice a place it was. It has a charming old town up on a hill which required a ride on a funicular railway to get to. Our 3rd funicular for the trip. We spent a lovely few hours wandering around up there enjoying the views and our last gelato. We made a surprising discovery for dinner of a cute restaurant that served free champagne on arrival and limoncello after dinner. We politely refused the limoncello after our introduction to the horrible liqueur at Jane and Alessandro's in Bologna. The food was delicious and the service was great (and not too expensive either).

The next day, after a few hours wait at the airport (no the plane was delayed it was just us getting there early) we boarded a Jet 2 plane (an airline I knew nothing about but was cheap) with a large number of elderly Northern Irelanders who were returning to Belfast after a package tour of Italy. Hearing all their accents was like being surrounded by hundreds of Aunty Yvonne's (Aaron's aunt). The flight was okay and we made it to Belfast alright. After interrogation by passport control, which didn't take long as we were the only 2 none EU passport holders on the flight we collected our bags and met Aunty Yvonne and her daughter Carol who kindly picked us up from the airport. We have spent the last week in the loving care of Yvonne and her husband Desmond, who have not only cooked for us, but has done washing for us and has driven us around. Well except for Monday when they kicked us out and made us catch the bus into the city. This week as been really nice and relaxing. We sleep in, watch TV (I am loving my English television, East Enders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, The Bill, Top Gear, you name it I have watched it), go out for a bit, come back, watch more TV, use the Internet, eat, watch TV, sleep. It has been great. We have seen some sights though, don't get me wrong we are not spending all our time at home. We have visited Belfast Castle, Stormont (the parliament house) the city centre (including the oldest library in Belfast) and W5 (an interactive sciencecentre). Today we caused mass truancy among all of Aunty Yvonne's grandchildren when we all went to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Well, only the transport museum as it is raining and this part is undercover. It was a fun museum to visit as you could climb onto some the the trains and things and it was especially fun going with Kathryn, Brett, Corey, Sophie and Lara, not too mention Carol and Anita (their mums) and Aunty Yvonne of course. It also included a Titanic Exhibition (as the Titanic was built in Belfast) and a Flight Experience thing which was like you were in a small plane.

Tonight we are having dinner with Aaron's Uncle Brian and Aunt Dorothy and tomorrow night with all those we spent today with at Carol's house. It has been really good getting to know Aaron's relatives. They are all so funny.

We then head off to Dublin on Monday and London on Thursday. I can't believe our trip is almost over and I will be back at work in less than a month.

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