Sunday, July 21, 2019

England and Ireland trip...

In July, I went on a lovely trip around England and Ireland. I started off at two YWAM bases - one in England - YWAM Harpenden: I got to catch up with so many lovely people - but of course didn't get ANY pictures with them... here is one of some of the base:
I also spent a lovely afternoon with a family that used to be in Romania, but are now based in Harpenden... we went to the zoo! And of course this is the ONLY pic I have of them, looking at the meercats (and one of the boys is missing, oh well) 
It was a really fun afternoon - and we got to see many fun animals, including the lemurs :)
Then it was time to head over to YWAM Rostrever in Ireland, where I stayed with my friend, Belinda. Here we are in front of Inch Abbey... we took a quick selfie before the Game of Throne tour group came to see it - as it is in one of the episodes...
 We also went to a stone circle - really interesting:
 And we also went to the church which was built on the spot where St Patrick had his first church:
And here is a statue of him at the entrance of Downpatrick:
 I also got to see the Narnia trail: Rostrevor lays claim to the fact that CS Lewis said that this part of Ireland is how he imagined Narnia...
 I did it with my friend, Alex, who has come many times to Bosnia... here we are with "Aslan"
 At the same time that I was there, there were two lovely people from the YWAM Thessaloniki team who were there too: Catherine and Carrie. We went with Belinda across the lough on the ferry. A really fun evening!
 And there were some fun signs on the other side: Love the Irish sense of humour


I loved being able to be in Ireland and catching up with everyone there (not everyone is pictured!), but then it was time to fly to Newcastle and visit with the Smiths: I haven't seen Megan since she was 7 and she is now 14, so it was great to be able to catch up!
I also got to catch up with Ali Howey who took me to Belsay Hall and it was such a lovely afternoon, but of course I didn't get a photo of her and I together! But here is the Hall and the original castle:


And then I headed by bus to my godson and his family in Nottingham. I managed to be there for his 13th birthday which was really fun... And of course, I didn't get a picture with them... the only one I have is of their new kitty watching the tennis with us: It was such a fun afternoon of sport - between the amazing Wimbledon final and the England vs New Zealand cricket world cup final it was hard to know what to watch...
It was then on to All Nations College for the "Refresh" course: Easneye Hall where the college is, has a long history and the grounds and surrounds are truly lovely. It was definitely a wonderful place to enjoy a week's retreat... There were only six of us on the course and we truly became family during the week. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this!
Then it was time for me to return back to Banja Luka... here we are coming into land at Banja Luka airport... the little hop from Belgrade is always in a propeller plane: and I just sat in the right seat to get this shot: 
I didn't manage to see my sister and her family (who live in Oxford) this trip, because she was away or busy when I could come, so that was a bummer... next time! Now it is just time to reflect on all the fun people I got to hang out with, as well as all the connections I made and meetings I managed to have along the way... such a lovely trip!!
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