Day 12: The North of Ireland

Today was our last full day exploring the green lush wonder that is Ireland! A bittersweet day it is. We are ready to go home, 2 weeks is a long time. I’m starving for real food and high fructose corn syrup; I’m tired and want to take a real shower in a real sized bathroom with light switches on the inside of the bathroom, ha! But I digress.

We ventured to Northern Ireland today, as the Protestants would say. Or, if you’re Catholic, The North of Ireland. The difference being “Northern Ireland” is a part of the UK. Those that are of a particular faith acknowledge and are proud of the union with England, Scotland, and Wales. While the Catholics still consider themselves part of the island/land mass/sort of probably still the Republic of Ireland. I had done some research on The Troubles, as they are known, before our travels but after today, I need and want to dig into it more. It’s fascinating and heartbreaking.

We had the option of doing a Black Taxi Tour or to visit the Titanic Museum. Up until this morning, I had been totally sold on the Titanic Museum but our tour guide changed my mind as he talked about the Black Taxi Tours and the history of The Troubles in Belfast. The BTT left me a little bit feeling like “meh.” The accent in the Belfast area is extremely unique and while I like to think that I can decipher accents pretty well.. Our tour guide was unusually difficult to understand so I don’t feel like I got much out of the experience. It was very interesting, though, seeing all of the murals and learning what I did from what I could understand.

Following Belfast, we drove about an hour north to visit the Giants Causeway. And holy crapoli, wow! I know that I keep saying that each place is better and better and even saying that sentence alone is redundant from posts in the past but the Giants Causeway and the legend behind how it was created is just fascinating. (My computer can’t connect to the internet so I’m typing like a peasant on my phone. I will try to remember to elaborate on this later or link to some information/articles about it all.)

Lastly, we made our way to Balleycastle, Northern Ireland. There, we hiked 75 million miles up and down steep hills to reach the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. A bridge that is only 20 meters long but is a thin narrow wobbly bridge connecting Northern Ireland to another little Ireland crossing over the Atlantic Ocean. I’m not sure I thought this at the time but the hike and the views were so worth it!

Tomorrow we fly home. Today was such a beautiful end to our once in a lifetime bucket list vacation!

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