Edward arrived in Belfast as dawn was about to break on a rather damp morning. The car ferry on which he had travelled overnight thankfully docked without incident and, despite the comforts provided on board, he was eager to disembark and continue his latest adventure (you may read about the first part here).
First on the itinerary was a road trip along the northeast coast of the Ards Peninsula, stopping at: Bangor, Donaghadee, Millisle and its nearby Ballycopeland windmill. These places had emotional significance to chief bearer’s late parents, a few of whose belongings they were in Ireland to collect. Edward is particularly skilled at offering support at such moments. He was pleased when the rain eased and all were able to admire and enjoy the various harbours and beaches that held treasured memories.
By mid afternoon Edward was ready for a rest so was taken to the palace in which he was to stay (you may learn more about this place by reading the review, in which he features, written here). The large and comfortable room proved a suitable base for a bear who, while enjoying myriad new experiences, likes to indulge in life’s finer offerings occasionally. The palace gardens contained many interesting sculptures. Edward discussed this art form with a large, new friend.
It is always good to make new friends and that evening’s dinner offered such an opportunity. Edward was taken to the home of a lovely couple who had specially requested his attendance. While his bearers enjoyed the good food and fine company provided, Edward was pleased to make their delightful young lady bear’s acquaintance. Her seat by the fireside looked most comfy – an apt pride of place.
The following day Edward had the opportunity to catch up with some family bears. A barbeque had been arranged during which he was able to spend time with another bear from The English Teddy Bear Company, along with this bear’s best friend.
Due to an excess of precipitation, Edward stayed in bed while his bearers climbed Divis and the Black Mountain. He did, of course, join them for dinner later.
The final evening of Edward’s sojourn in Belfast required a train journey into the city. Informed that he was to eat at a particularly fine establishment, Edward consulted with the little duck provided in his room and dressed appropriately. He particularly enjoyed the final course of the ensuing six course taster menu and accompanying wine flight, although the dash for the return train somewhat rattled his now very full tummy.
The next day it was time to pack his bags and travel onwards. Another car ferry was boarded, although this one took just a couple of hours to reach its destination. There followed: a short drive, a stopover in Scotland, and then the long journey south. This time Edward was happier during the car journey as suitable snacks were provided.
It had been a very fine adventure but, as always, it was good to reach home. Here he was able to delight his friend, Goldie Bear, with a lovely surprise. In amongst the boxes his bearers had travelled to Belfast to collect was Quackers, a duck given to chief bearer when she had to spend her very first Christmas in hospital. Quackers had not been seen for many years and was thought lost. Goldie, chief bearer’s childhood teddy, became quite emotional when reunited with his oldest friend.
Edward may not have spent much time in the heart of the city, being based on the coastal area this time. For anyone eager to know what delights central Belfast can offer a tourist, chief bearer wrote about a previous visit here.