Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dream Vacation - Day 9

Today is my last full day in Ireland. Thomas decided to take me to Belfast (again) and do a city tour bus. There are two tour bus companies and they work hard on selling you that their tour is better. We opted for the guy who actually paid 20 pence for the public toilet for me as I didn't have any change. This tour also had more of the places that I wanted to see.

It was a fun tour that lasted about and hour and a half. It was my first time on a double decker bus, we sat up top. Here's a list of places we drove by Stormont and Parliament Building, The River Lagan, St Georges Market, Victoria Square Mall, High Street, The Old Cathedral Quarter, St Annes Cathedral, Clifton Street Poor House, The Crumlin Road Jail and Courthouse, The Belfast Peace Wall, The Shankill Road and political wall murals, The Falls Road and political wall murals, Queens University, The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast City Hall and Befast City Centre.

I think my favorite part of the tour was when they took us to the "bad" part of town, were alot of fighting happened in the past. They still have the walls up that separates the Catholic and Protestant, appropriately named the "Peace Wall". It's kind of eerie because even today at nightfall and weekends massive steel gates at crossing points are locked. So much history in that part of town, it made this part of the tour very interesting and eye opening.

After the tour I was in the mood for some authentic Mexican food. I had not had it since being in Ireland. Thomas searched for a place and we actually found a small little hole in the wall that served real Mexican food and man was it tasty.

We meet up with Thomas' sister Stephanie again as she was in town and in our area. We chatted for a bit before parting ways.

We then walked through Queen's University (a very beautiful building) and into the Botanical Garden park next to it. Since it was winter time there weren't many blooming flowers but they did have several green houses so we got to see some pretty flowers in there. Next door was the Ulster Museum and walked around the museum for a few hours. It had a very eclectic collection of things, it is a National Museum of Arts, Human History and Natural Sciences.

After the Museum it was getting late so we headed back to Thomas' place and watched some more Xena. We continue with season one and watched episodes 107 - 110.

First up was S1 Ep7 "The Titans" The stage is set for a clash of the Titans when Gabrielle inadvertently releases three of the giant deities from a centuries-long entombment and one of them proceeds to terrorize a village -- against the wishes of the other two. Xena must figure out how to save innocent villagers.

I enjoyed this episode, I feel like Gabrielle getting in trouble and Xena getting out of it is going to be an on going theme for this series.

Next we watched S1 Ep8 "Prometheus" When Hera captures Prometheus, mankind begins to lose the gifts he gave them: fire and the ability to heal themselves. It's up to Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules and Iolaus to try to free Prometheus from his chains but whoever is the one who frees him, may end up dead.

This was one of my favorites of season one so far. I like that they teamed up Xena and Gabrielle with Hercules and Iolaus. I like how they resolve the issue of the one who free's Prometheus being the one who will die. A very enjoyable episode.

Third episode of the night was S1 Ep9 "Death in Chains" Xena must free Hades' sister Celesta, Death herself, from King Sisyphus. He wants to cheat death by holding her hostage, thus prolonging his life. Meanwhile, Gabrielle meets a young boy with a kind heart but a sorrowful secret. As more people suffer from not being able to die, time is running out for everyone.

Another enjoyable episode. I liked the "love story" between Gabrielle and Talus (the young man) who ends up dying at the end (which I knew was going to happen), but it didn't make it any less said. I really enjoyed this story. 

And the final episode of the night was S1 Ep10 "Hooves and Harlots" When Xena and Gabrielle encounter the Amazons, Gabrielle tries to save an Amazon from what appears to be an attack by Centaurs. While Gabrielle finds herself becoming an Amazon Princess, Xena is certain that the Centaurs are not guilty of the fatal attack and tries to root out the true culprit before the Amazons and the Centaurs declare war on each other.

So Gabrielle becomes a Amazon Princess. I knew she was able to fight in future episodes and it was cool to see this is how she learned her skills. I liked seeing Centaurs. Another good story.

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