Northern Ireland Roadtrip
Atter getting the bus form the airport into the city we checked into our hostel room. We’d booked a twin room because it was cheaper and normally you can just push the beds together, but these ones were super skinny and bolted to the floor! So we made a little cubby house under them. We went for a walk past the Queens University and through the Botanic gardens then did some shopping for supplies for our road trip. We looked for the famous political graffiti and banner around the place but only found one.
It just so happened that our trip to Norther Ireland coincided with the Belfast World Rally special stage. So our first night in Belfast was spend watching cars racing around the castle. Very exciting stuff! And VERY cold.
The next morning we explored a bit of the more city. We walked along the port where the Titanic had left from and around the city looking at the Irish pubs, markets and architecture. We picked up our car and started following the coast north along the Causeway Coastal route. We drove until we got to Ballycastle stopping for photo opportunities and road side coffees along the way. We thought we’d have a go at sleeping the night in the car. So after a few pints of irish beer and some tasty fish and chips we drove out to the beach and parked the car. It was the worst idea we’ve ever had. Much worse for Chris mind you because he is a whole foot taller than me. It was a very cold, windy night and our little car swayed with the wind, which was kinda fun but after a few hours, lost it’s appeal!
As soon as it was light we drove on. The first place we got to was Bushmills and we had a nice big breaky. The Bushmill’s Distillery wasn’t open yet we decided to go on to see the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge then backtrack to do the Bushmill’s Distillery tour afterwards.
Well we had read that the rope bridge closes during winter, but we thought we’d go look it anyway, even if we couldn’t actually cross it. We followed a muddy windy narrow path along the top of the cliff and got to the place where the rope bridge WAS. Not only is it closed in winter but they take it down. It had been a terrible start to the day. And it didn’t be better yet.
We drove back to Bushmills to see the tour and when we got there the woman said the tour was full and we’d have to wait 2 hours until the next one….so back in the car we got and on to the Giant’s Causeway. There is a little bus that takes you down to the Giant’s causeway from the souvenir shop at the top. It is amazing to think we big hexagonal shaped black stuff was pushed out of the earth. It was windy, rainy and very slippery and Chris even had a minor spill.
We finished off our adventurous day by driving into Derry. Derry is a city that is surrounded by a big 6″ brick wall. The entire city was enclosed by in the day but now it has expanded around the walls. We found a little bed and breakfast run by a crazy lady but it was the cheapest and we shared a single bed! We went into the city center for some dinner. There we met some hilarious drunk Irish hairdressers and spent the night drinking with them.
We drank too much to drive home so we had to walk back in the next morning and pick up the car. We then drove down through Enskillen and out into Sligo in Ireland. The world rally stage ended in Sligo and we watched the presentations here. Afterwards we drove back to Belfast.