Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: carnival

Northern Ireland part 1: An afternoon in Bangor

In July, I went to Northern Ireland for a long weekend getaway with a group of girls from my church. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is a mere 45-minute flight away from Glasgow. The accessibility made it a perfect destination for a group outing, and off we went to spend some quality ladies’ time!

The base of our explorations was of course Belfast, but we also joined a day trip that took us to the famous Giant’s Causeway as well as some other points of interest, including the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Dark Hedges, which will be another story for another post. This post is actually about the seaside resort town of Bangor, where we decided to spend one afternoon since it was a convenient half-hour ride by train from Belfast. We didn’t even need to make it a day trip – several hours was all that we needed!

Like many other seaside towns I’ve been to (Cherbourg, Oban, and Tobermory, just to name a few), boats were lined along the harbour of Bangor. Rows of colourful houses adorned the harbourfront, just like those in Tobermory 🙂

There was a path along the seaside and we all followed it and took a gentle stroll. The scenery was beautiful and I could understand why people would come to Bangor for the holidays or maybe even retire here!

You might think these are mountains and hills photographed from a faraway place but they are actually bumps along the seaside trail that are covered in green moss!!

If you’ve been reading my blog then you’d know that I love murals. There were several large murals near the harbourfront, but this one of a cafe would have to be my favourite. Pretty realistic, if you ask me. I wonder if an actual cafe used to be here…

In total, including me, 7 people went on this trip. These are some of my adorable companions. At that point, I’ve known most of them for a little less than a year, and this was the second time we all travelled together, the first time being the trip to the Isle of Skye. Most of them are leaving soon though so it makes me quite sad to have to send them off one by one. But that is precisely why we needed these group outings – to create memories that last! I absolutely love these girls ❤

The best part of our little side trip to Bangor would probably be the carnival that was taking place in the main square. Yes, yes, I know I’m almost 30, but in the midst of a fun fair, who wouldn’t be tempted to go on some rides? Though what I had REALLY wanted to ride since a long time ago was the merry-go-round, the girls and I decided to do bumper cars and the swinging-spinning thing (whatever you call it) instead. ‘Round and around and around and around we go…till we were dizzy! It was actually a lot higher and scarier than I had expected and I think we all felt like we were little girls again.

As for bumper cars, it was a bit disappointing that we were only allowed to go one way, but driving into other people and being bumped into were tons of fun nevertheless!

Let’s end with a group photo of all of us having ice cream before we left. I was the only one who had it in a cup instead of a waffle cone and I kind of regretted it, though the others told me that mine was a smart decision as ice cream dripping wouldn’t have been a problem. This will become a rare memory frozen in time because from here on, it will be so difficult for all of us to be together again, but I truly cherished these great moments shared with each and every one of you. Please take care, and see you later!

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Glasgow loves Christmas

The Christmas holidays are approaching and since mid-November, the city of Glasgow has been wrapped in Christmas spirit. I will not be spending Christmas in Glasgow this year, and so I took advantage of the festive activities featured in the Glasgow Loves Christmas events taking place over the weeks before the holidays themselves. A trip to the city centre is always a better alternative than staying at home during the weekend – and yes, I’ve moved! More on that in another post…maybe.

It is unfortunate that the true meaning behind Christmas is often forgotten and smothered by the commercialization of the holidays – Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees, Christmas shopping, Christmas lights…the list goes on. Despite this, I don’t deny that the festive atmosphere is a source of warmth for the chilly winter days, and I can’t help but to immerse myself in the celebrations, all the while reminding myself that on this day, the Saviour was born.

Every fair/carnival has to have a Ferris wheel, and the one at George Square is no exception. The last time I went on a Ferris wheel was almost two years ago in Bordeaux, and while viewing a city from the high point of a Ferris wheel was amazing, the HIGH part was a bit more thrilling than I would have liked. There was also a merry-go-round (not shown in photo) at the fair in Glasgow, and for some reason I’ve wanted to ride on a merry-go-round for years now but haven’t found anyone to accompany me. Somehow I just wanted to relive my childhood on a merry-go-round, out of all the children’s rides…for no particular reason. Anyone in Glasgow want to volunteer to go with me? 😛

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Bordeaux dans la nuit

It rained non-stop from Sunday to Wednesday last week, and finally, we get some sunshine today. I’d never seen so much rain in my entire life before. Non-stop is almost literal. In those four days, there were little breaks of sunshine that always made me think that the rain had ended. But no. As if the rain was playing a trick on me, it came right back 20 seconds after I started rejoicing. Sometimes it didn’t even wait for the sun to retreat, and the rain would come pouring down without warning. I was rather frustrated.

I really dislike rain, by the way. When the rain turned into hail on the day that I had to travel 40 minutes to a meeting (and how convenient was it that all the trams in the downtown area were out of service due to rain and thunder, which made me 40 minutes late), I was more than slightly ticked off. What made it worse was the violent wind that accompanied the rain as if it was a bodyguard. Got an umbrella? The wind ripped it apart in an instant, and my two-week old shield was forced to retire after a short life.

As a result of the persistent rain, I hadn’t been exploring this week, except for last Sunday night, when I was out near Quinconces during a short period of time that was free of rain. I took a few quick photos, because Bordeaux is beautiful at night.

This was actually taken almost two weeks ago, on the day when I went to the Blaye/Bourg wine tasting tour. It was the last night of the “foire”, something like a carnival or a fair. The column on the left is the Colonne des Girondins, featured several weeks earlier, accompanied by the giant Ferris wheel that was present at the fair.

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