Ireland Road Trip
We leave Dublin on April 19th to North Ireland.
* Remember that in Ireland you drive on the left, if you've never done it, don't worry, you're just going to feel a bit weird the first hour, especially the first time you go in a roundabout, but then you get used to it and you follow the crowd.
Obout the roads I heard they were in very good condition and I don't say they don't ... but since you leave the main roads they are very narrow and usually bordered by walls or bush. So funny that the speed limit on many of these roads is 80km/h because 2 cars almost don´t fix there and then on main roads they keep the same limit! So don´t be scared and enjoy the adventure!
The first stop is Belfast.
We visit the Titanic Museum, a bit expensive, everything in Ireland is, but it's worth it. The building itself is impressive, located in the place where the shipyards where, with a design that simulates four prows coinciding with the height the boat had. Going to the interactive rooms we go through the history of the ship from the moment the idea of its construction came up until its collapse.
We had for lunch the typical fish and chips that they like so much and we are going to walk around the city..
We have been told that the city's center is quite small so we head to the part of Belfast that catches our attention, the Belfast mural tour located in the neighborhoods of Falls Road (Catholic) and Shankill Road (Protestant), separated by a large wall that closed during the night to prevent people from one side could enter the other and cause disturbances.
These murals represent the violent history in Northern Ireland during the last decades of the twentieth century, known as 'The Troubles'.
If you are interested in having more detailed information about these murals, you can take a tour in the famous 'black cabs' that will explain everything to you and stop at different murals. It is also more comfortable because the murals are separated from each other, but if you are one of us and you like to go on your own, just get lost in the streets and discover them yourself. One of the things I like most about visiting the places without hurry and by yourself is that you perceive better the real atmosphere of the place.
Despite the commented conflict, it is currently very safe, the people who live in the place are very friendly and nice.
After some hours throught the murals we will take a short walk in the city to eat something and rest.
The first thing we find is the City hall, which does not go exactly unnoticed, in fact I would dare to say that it is the most beautiful building in the city, both inside and outside, it deserves a visit.
The Donegall Street, known as the Golden Mile, where most of the commercial life of the city is concentrated, starts from the town hall. As we had been told the center of the city is quite small, but that doesn't mean it has a certain charm. After our break, we go north, to visit one of the most famous places of Ireland .
The Giant's caseway does not disappoint, the image that you find when you arrive is overwhelming.
I recommend you go at sunset, you will find less people, a free parking and a spectacular sunset!
What to tell you about this place, the first thing you will ask is, is it natural? Yes it is, the scientific explanation says that it is a rocky formation composed by many columns of basalt of hexagonal forms that was formed in a completely natural way millions of years ago by the accelerated cooling of the lava of a volcano; but personally I like more the legend about a local giant that built them to be able to reach Scotland and beat their rival. Which one do you stay with?
After enjoying the place until the sun stops lighting our day, we will spend the night in Ballycastle a small and picturesque coast town where we try to have dinner at 9 pm but at that time the kitchens are closing! It's hard for me to get used to these early dinners ... do it or you'll be hungry like us.
'If they haven´t got any food, let them drink beer'... at least beer and live music won't lack.
A nice staircase leads us to Kinbane Castle, or what's left of it.
The place itself is what you expect from the Irish coasts, if you add to that the views of the island of Rathlin and the ruins of an old castle, the visit will be the most beautiful.
After climbing, the no longer so nice stairs, they are a few! we will see the famous hanging bridge Carrick-a-rede rope bridge located at a height of 25 meters above sea level and joining a small island.
If you want to walk it you have to book and pay in advance because it gets crowded. If you do not wanna do it, come and see it because it is very nice to see how people cross from one place to another with fear.
The next stop of the day is a 'must' for Game of Thrones lovers. The dark Hedges corresponds to the 'Kings Road' for which Ayra Stark escaped from 'Kings Landing'
We will spent the noon wandering through Londonderry, a city very marked during its history by the struggles between Catholics and Protestants, but today has regained its tranquility and has turned its walled city into a tourist attraction.
As in Belfast, you can make a route of the murals through the neighborhoods outside the walled area.