Adventures · International Getaways · The UK

The Other Ireland

Today, I went to Northern Ireland! Part of the island of Ireland, but not a part of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland is home to some of the most beautiful coasts and natural landmarks I’ve ever seen.

I went on a tour today that was awesome and I would highly recommend to all! Day tours are great options for when you’re mentally exhausted of planning trips and you feel like handing someone money to do the hard work for you.

We started our adventure at 7 am, and crossed the border from the Republic into Northern Ireland. I brought my passport because I was being optimistic we would get a stamp, but, alas, no luck. The tour was super thorough (of course, since I’m an Ireland expert now, I know exactly what constitutes as a “thorough” tour…), though I kind of tuned out a lot when they were explaining about The Troubles. Apparently, Belfast used to be super dangerous… something about Protestants and Catholics… if you can’t tell, politics was never my strong suit. Google it. Just Google it.

Things we saw on our tour:

Upon our arrival in Belfast, we could choose between a Black Taxi Tour, which would tell more about the political troubles of the 20th century in Ireland, or to visit the Titanic Museum. Being OBSESSED with the Titanic Museum (and hoping today would be the day DiCaprio would make an appearance at the museum), I ventured into here.

Six stories of TITANIC. Nerding so hard.
Six stories of TITANIC. Nerding so hard.

Well, DiCaprio wasn’t there, but I learned a lot in the six floors of Titanic overload that I didn’t know before, so I basically came out a new person. My aunt, whom I’m traveling with for the next couple weeks, went on the Black Taxi tour, and she said if one likes politics, then it’s definitely for you. So, seriously, if politics aren’t your thing, don’t let someone who was a partaker in The Troubles lead you on a guided tour around the city. Self-explanatory.

We then went and saw some more natural scapes. What’s so interesting about Northern Ireland is that it does feel a little different than the Republic. And I’m not just saying that because there’s a lingering smell of cow pies in the air (it’s very agricultural).

Giant's Causeway - formed by an ancient volcanic eruption.
Giant’s Causeway – formed by an ancient volcanic eruption.
The symmetry of the formations makes the OCD Type A robot inside me very happy.
The symmetry of the formations makes the OCD Type A robot inside me very happy.

Giant’s Causeway, as the rumor goes, was created by a giant, Finn MacCool, way back in the day as a way for him to travel to Scotland to duel a Scottish giant. Is this true? I’d like to think I’m stepping in the footsteps of a giant, so I’m going to go with extremely very highly likely with a chance of probably yes. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s actually pretty cool. Like most things, my camera is unable to capture just how interesting these 40,000 interlocking columns are.

The columns go on for ages and ages!
The columns go on for ages and ages!
Pretending to be British. Works every time.
Pretending to be British at lunch. Works every time.
Pit stop at a Game of Thrones castle.
Pit stop at a Game of Thrones castle.

After Giant’s Causeway, we made our way to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This was what I was really excited about! Back in the old times, there was a single rope bridge here for fisherman to cross to get to the secluded island on the other side. The bridge was way shorter than I expected, but a thrill nonetheless!

Suspended 100 feet above sea-level!
Suspended 100 feet above sea-level!
The weather was too good.
The weather was too good.
Walking back to the car park, feeling like a tiny human.
Walking back to the car park, feeling like a tiny human.

All in all, a successful visit. It was a LONG day, but so worth seeing all the beauty Northern Ireland has to offer! The weather has been SO good to us this week! It hasn’t rained, it’s only been slightly windy, and the weather is creepin’ up into the high 50s / low 60s. People are wearing shorts, faces are getting some color, and I’m just excited I don’t have to wear my parka to fetch yoghurt from the market anymore!

Cheers,

Monique

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4 thoughts on “The Other Ireland

  1. That bridge….eek! I’m not sure you could have gotten me on that thing…..unless chocolate bottom Peeps awaited me on the other end! Your photos are breath taking! I can almost feel the cool ocean breeze, and smell the freshness of the air – – or did it really smell of cow patties? And those columns in the Causeway…FASCINATING! Way to wander, Wanderluster!

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