Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

Day 4 – Belfast

Started today chilling with the Devin’s, my roommates. Cool people with a lot of useful suggestions about Europe and travel.

After breakfast I headed over to the bus terminal. Got a bus to Belfast for 14 euro, and JUST missed the one leaving so waited another hour with a cup of coffee.

The bus ride was calm and nice. Took some photos here and there. Saw a fire in the distance. There was a crash somewhere as well. Finally got to Belfast. This town is much nicer than Dublin… has a much more authentic feel, and I think thats because it’s less touristy. Found my hostel and checked in. My roommates are also from CA, San Diego to be exact. The room smells weird…

I went out into the world, deciding to go to Dublin Castle… err… Belfast Castle. When I got on the bus I mistook the names and felt a bit embarrassed. Oh on the way there I got a ham and cheese bagel melt. It was alright. I got off the stop, and walked up to the castle. At first I had no idea where the castle was. I just kept walking and walking and I thought the castle was invisible. Then I saw it. It wasn’t that impressive, but it was nice to see a visible castle. Walked around it. Had lunch in the courtyard. Snapped a couple pictures. Went to the visitor’s center. Apparently this castle is used for weddings a lot, and there was one that day. Instead of peeking in on that, I decided to take the hike up to Cavehill. This was a fairly arduous hike since I’ve been walking all day. During the first woodsy part I felt like I was in one of the old adventure games I played, Monkey Island. It was kind of exciting because a few things reminded me of the game… Anyhow, got up to a cave and it had started raining so I took shelter for a bit. Then it stopped and I continued up a really steep and slippery slope. Some other guys were also climbing it at the same time. Got to the top all exhausted, and started talking to these guys who were locals. Pretty awesome people so we hung out. I suddenly remembered my kite and so we flew it off of Napoleon’s Nose. They were awesome, so they asked if I needed a ride back to the city center. YES. Of course. So they gave me a miniature shit tour, which was better than probably anything else I could have paid for. They gave me a “Humbug” which is a curious local candy.

After they dropped me off I went back to the hostel to try to figure out how to get to the Giant’s Causeway tomorrow. Met some girl who also wanted to go and so we started talking. Went out for some drinks at The Crown, which was just a bunch of old men and one hot woman who was very drunk and 5 old guys surrounding her. Then went to Lyvery (sp?), which was a really great bar and I wish I had more nights there.

Came back to the hostel. Grabbed some Naan across the way. Talked to some other cool people in the hostel. And now I’m about to retire.


Day 5 – Belfast

Got up and on the tour bus with DD. She fell asleep pretty fast, but kind of acted as that person who I say random thoughts to. Otherwise I would have just been asking them to myself in my head. Ireland has a lovely countryside, but everyone knows that. Lots of sheep and cattle. Lots of greenery. We stopped in a small town for a break and I ran around their small harbor taking pictures. Also got a very delicious apple. I think I’ve learned how good apples are when you’re traveling. Cheap and delicious.

We finally got to the rope bridge, our first stop on the tour. There was a short walk and then some really nice multicolored islands off the mainland. I was talking to someone later about how beautiful that area is. Got to the bridge and crossed it valiantly. I even jumped a bit, which was exciting. The island that the rope bridge went to was covered in grass and flowers. When I was coming back across the rope bridge I jumped a bit more. There was a guy crossing my way but at that time I was kind of sick of waiting for people coming the other way to hold up, and I headed across. I jumped a bit more, and the guy crossing made some comment about gladiators which we chuckled about. Then (I think he was off the bridge) I really jumped high, which was just amazing. It’s like a horizontal trampoline. Anyhow, went up the steps and the woman attending the bridge kind of lectured me on not crossing the bridge while other people were going the other way, and I should have waited for the next group of people to cross. I said something along the lines of “Oh sorry I didn’t know there was a system” and shuffled on. I was very surprised that she didn’t yell at me for jumping!

Anyhow, started to rain so luckily had my umbrella and walked back. Stopped at their tea shop for some vegetable soup. Got some bread with it that I kept for later and it was so good…

We stopped in another small town for other people to have lunch. I explored the back streets, originally looking for some sculpture workshop, but then realized it was a sign pointing to a sculpture/statue. But I saw a bit of the residential area of the small town which was interesting. Saw two murals which were interesting. Walked along the town’s main road. Almost bought a pool cue for 5 pounds.

We were on our way again. I decided to skip the Bushmills Distillery because I had already been to the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery. We travelled for a little while and then got to the Giant’s Causeway. Walked a bit of a hike to get there, which was a relaxing walk. The Giant’s Causeway is a surreal natural formation of rocks that are mostly hexagonal and in columns. Upon thinking about it, it wasn’t the most surreal place I’d ever been (that would be the Salt Flats of Utah), but it was strange. I walked along the stones counting the sides of each of them. I found a few 3 sided ones, some 4, more 5, many 6, some 7, and, after a long time of searching, only found two 8 sided stones in the whole area. I took a picture of each of them.

Walked back to the shop and bought some honeycomb chocolate candy. It was really good. Left the place and briefly stopped at some castle ruins for a photo opportunity before heading back to Belfast.

Said bye to DD, and headed to my other hostel a bit farther away from the center of town. The other hostel turned out to be much cooler. The people were more chill, the staff were much more friendly, it seemed a lot more casual. I put down my stuff and asked where the best food was, and I was told to go to this Thai place called “Thai Tanic” (because Belfast is where the Titanic was built). The food was awesome and I came back and chilled outside with the smokers. This guy gave me two Carlsburg beers, and we had a chat about Ireland and various other things. Then this Canadian girl, Dana, a guy, Matt, and I went out to this club called Lime Light. It was kind of a Goth/Punk club, and very interesting. They played something I recognized, but can’t remember what. We drank. A lot. Matt was acting a bit sketchy, and really hitting on Dana. Finally he left because he didn’t want to walk home with us. But he didn’t really leave and spied on us instead. Anyhow, Dana and I chilled and talked. Left and walked home, with that weird instinctual drunken amazing sense of direction. Met some guy celebrating his birthday on the way home, and congratted him.

And went to bed.