Welcome to Northern Ireland- it really is the Emerald Isle.
While I was just there for (a far too short) four days, Northern Ireland was gorgeous! One thing I immediately thought about this country was the landscape was softer, gentler than Scotland. Scotland, especially the highlands, is full of rough, jagged edges and corse trees, with breath taking scenery. Ireland has that breath-taking aspect as well, but everything seems tamer, more rounded on the edges. I took the bus and ferry over from Scotland which was actually a lovely way to travel and far cheaper than flying!
I arrived in Belfast, where I was going to stay with the lovely Thompson family- relatives of friends back home who were far too wonderful to me! They kindly did a tour around Belfast for me, and we got to see a lot of the famous sights there- a great tour of city hall, a driving C.S. Lewis Tour (he was born and lived in Belfast! Somehow I never imagined him with an Irish accent..), the dock and pump-house where the Titanic was built too! That was pretty incredible. The dry dock is HUGE!! This ship was enormous! Unfortunately, the Titanic visitor's center doesn't open until next spring, so we couldn't go in there and learn more about it.
|Titanic Memorial by City Hall|
|Titanic Dry Dock!|
|Titanic Pump house|
|C.S. Lewis' house|
|St. Patrick's grave|
|Rope bridge- we did go across in rather high winds|
|after the rope bridge!|
|AMAZING water- all turquoise! Why isn't the US like that??|
|Giant's Causeway in the background|
|This is what the amazing columns look like|
Other than that, it was fun to notice the differences in what families do in different parts of the world, such as Italy versus Ireland. In Ireland we were always, always drinking tea. With breakfast, between lunch, after dinner, you name it. So it basically serves as the same social drink that coffee does in Italy. Same function, totally different drink! Intriguing...
Bascially, Ireland was beautiful, I loved our long drives through the country, close to the Mountains of Mourne and trip to the Giant's Causeway! Maybe next time, I can stay a bit longer!
|Castle Wellan Forest Park- gorgeous lake (or lough as the Irish pronounce like "loch")|
|"Peace Maze" at Castle Wellan!|