|10-22-2007, 03:13 PM||#2|
Joined: Sep 2007
I was able to spend some time in Northern Ireland on my way to Isle of Man for the centennial TT
Had always wanted to visit Joey Dunlop’s bar. I am really glad I was able to make it happen.
When I arrived in Belfast I found that my own airline had lost my luggage
Nice... it had my riding gear and all of my clothes for the 2 week trip
Luckily it was sent on the next flight... the next day
That kind of threw a wrench into my plans to head up to Ballymoney and find a B&B
I found one close to the airport and decided to head up to Ballymoney anyways
Figured I could get my bearings straight find Joey Dunlop's bar then head back to the airport
I couldn't check in to my room till after 5pm anyway...
After hanging out at the airport long enough I picked up my rental car... it was around 10am
Ballymoney is a decent size town maybe about the size of Flagstaff, AZ about 35miles away from the airport
I must have driven around in circles for about 90 mins before I got on the right road
It seems there was minor road construction and the road closed/detour signs kept taking me the opposite direction that I needed to go
As it worked out the road wasn't really closed
The minor construction was right next to my B&B for the night..
And, it ended up being on the right road to Ballymoney
Driving on the left was an experience. I had done it before when I visited England some years back
Everyone just drives much faster in Ireland then England
It really isn’t the driving on the left that's the problem.
You can focus on that. It’s the instinctive stuff..
Like which way you look when entering an intersection
Less then 20mins in, and I was already public enemy #1
There was only one main village between the airport and Ballymony
Ballymenea.. Of course I got lost there too..
missed the motorway bypass and kept getting sent the wrong way by the roundabouts
It seems there is one thing very frustrating about driving in Ireland
Their complete lack of street signs
Directions are laid out by my new joke "it's just down and to the right"
Translates to at least 10 turns thru anything from villages to housing developments to arrive at the infamous "important" right turn
Well I found Ballymony and Joey's memorial garden in the center of town
it's about 2:30pm
I found Joey's bar next to the villages train station
The HRC race bikes that are usually hanging on display were already on their way to Isle of Man
for the Dunlop foundation memorial display on the prom in Douglas
there were racing pictures everywhere..
met Donna Dunlop Joey's daughter and Gary Dunlop Joey's son
I can't believe how friendly everyone is
They made me feel like I had known them forever
We talked about racing in the states, and the other road races in Ireland like the Ulster GP, and NorthWest 200
I really fell in love with Northern Ireland and, the warmth of the people I met
I even got lucky with the weather
The NorthWest 200 is in early May next year and I already have my room booked
flyinmike screwed with this post 10-22-2007 at 03:27 PM
|10-22-2007, 03:23 PM||#11|
Joined: Sep 2007
short videos at Creg Ny Baa
|10-22-2007, 04:08 PM||#13|
..the last open road...
Joined: Jun 2005
Thanks for sharing your trip.
Visiting Joey's Bar, and the Isle of Man are at the top of my things to do before I die.
at your service,
"...like the philosopher Jagger once said, 'You can't always get what you want.'
Dr. G. House
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