25 September 2011

northern ireland

On Wednesday afternoon (21st September) I arrived at Luton Airport in London in plenty of time to drop my bag off and the check out lady says, "Oh this is your return flight." What!? I take back my web-check-in ticket and look it over. It's definitely a London to Belfast flight. I rummage through my bag and check my actual return flight. Then look at my "to" flight ticket again. How the heck did I miss that!!? I managed to book both my flights for 28th September and only discovered so at the airport. Bummer. So I had to go buy a new ticket, which is obviously expensive being I wanted one for that day. Still, it was cheaper than changing the ticket I had. And I did get to Belfast in Northern Ireland. That was the most important part. :)

I managed to find my hostel and check in. Quite a nice one too and I shared a room with two other girls. One was a lovely Aussie who I had lots of good chats with. Thursday morning I went down stairs to the cafe and enjoyed some soda bread with egg and cheese for breakfast. Then I got on the tour bus for the journey north.

Mostly I just sat back and enjoyed the scenery along the coastal route. We stopped briefly at Carrickfergus Castle. Just to look at the outside. The main stop was what I really went for. The Giant's Causeway. The driver had called ahead to order our meals at the hotel so we could eat as soon as we got there. The meals were good too. But if I had to re-do it I would have just bought a sandwich from the little shop we stopped at earlier on the drive up so I could have more time down at the Giant's Causeway. Lunch still took almost an hour and we only had 2hrs there. I walked fast down the track that led to the causeway and that took 20mins too. So it all felt a bit rushed. And crowded for that matter. There was loads of people there.

Time trials aside, it was a lovely day for it. The sun was shining and it was a nice walk down along a beautiful coast. I was thrilled when the causeway came into view. Such fascinating rock formations. There's not really any words for it.
The legend goes that a giant from Northern Ireland built the causeway to challenge a giant in Scotland. The Scottish one accepted the challenge and started over the causeway. The Irish one got a bit freaked by the size of him as he saw him coming and didn't want to get pulverised. So his woman giant dressed him as a baby and put him in a giant crib. The Scottish giant saw the crib and 'baby' as he got closer and thought, "Heck, if that's the baby I'd hate to meet the dad." Panicked, he fled back to Scotland ripping up the causeway behind him. Now of course, I first heard this story on my Scotland tour and the Scottish tell it in reverse. Either way, in my opinion, you have two stupid giants. ;)

The major worry for the day was my camera. It started playing up. I'd taken a whole bunch of photos and when I went to view them they were unrecognisable. It said they couldn't be displayed. In the short, I somehow managed to get it working properly again but I'm a bit disappointed I didn't end up with more photos (and the good ones before the clouds came over again). The Giants Causeway was the reason I even went to Northern Ireland. At least I did recored some and I squeezed in a few more shots before I needed to hike back up the path to meet the bus again. It was good to actually see it in person too. We went on to Bushmills Distillary which is apparently the oldest licenced one in the world. Then to the next stop--Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Fisherman once crossed this 100ft high 6oft gap on a rope bridge with only a single handrope to fish for salmon from the island. It's a lot sturdier now and regularly checked to make sure it's safe. It barely even sways so it wasn't scary at all. I thought it might be a bit more of a thrill but it was still fun to cross.
I enjoyed the scenery. We had to walk a km down to the bridge from the car park. And a km back obviously. It was a nice relaxing journey sitting on the bus watching Northern Ireland pass by out my window too.

Back at the hotel I uploaded my photos onto my computer and formated my SD card. I'm hoping the problem was with the card not the camera as this in my 2mth old camera. So far it seems to be working fine again.

I wandered around Belfast a bit before I settled in for the night at the hostel. I was up early the next morning to catch a bus to Dublin airport to begin my Republic of Ireland road trip.


Katrina Jade said...

Woh, that bridge looked scary! Enjoying reading about life in London and feeling very envious. Maybe one day...although I am sure I would keep to the places I know rather than travel alone - eres una chica sin temor!
How is your new living situation working out?

kelgell said...

Certainly not!! But the bridge wasn't scary. I start my new job this weekend. Hopefully I'll settle in quickly. I'll post more about Ireland on then.