Day 25 - Belfast
Belfast Travel Blog› entry 28 of 31 › view all entries
We got up early partly out of fear but mostly out of excitement. The night before we booked ourselves a spot on the tour bus to the Northern coasts of Ireland and the Giants Causeway. The tour departed from our hostel at 7:30 and was estimated to arrive back at around 6:30, giving us plenty of time to still make our 8:00 flight to London. When we boarded the bus we were surrounded by a group of American students so there was plenty to talk about on the hour long ride North. Our guide was very friendly as well as entertaining and laid out a detailed plan for the day. First we were going to stop at popular rope bridge that extended out to a free standing cliff along the coast. Second, were were going to the Giant's Causeway and for lunch. Finally we would stop for a photo shoot at the ruins of coastal castle.
The rope bridge was the first stop and after entering the park it took around twenty minutes to reach the bridge itself. We paid a small toll and walked across the eighty-foot bridge. . .two hundred feet up. . .swinging in the wind. A little unnerving, but well worth it. The views of the ocean and cliff sides were breathtaking. We spent sometime just sitting and taking it all in before heading back to the bus to move on.
When we pulled into the parking lot at Giant's Causeway the driver alerted us that it was another long walk to the Causeway itself. So we chose the more difficult of the two paths leading to the attraction and followed the cliff line for a ways. Again, the views were amazing. Before I describe the Causeway I should explain the lore. So legend has it that a giant lived along the coast many years ago.
We actually made two final stops. The first was a quick run through of the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, pretty uneventful. The second was more interesting for me. It was the ruins of the old castle. Turns out the castle belonged to a Scottish Family named the McDonalds, the same surname as my Northern Ireland dwelling Scottish ancestors. The possibility that it is my actual family is miniscule at best, but it was still fun to maybe be in the same area as my forefathers.
We made it back to Belfast and had plenty of time to bid our new American friends farewell and take a taxi to the airport and check in. The flight only lasted about an hour and before we knew it we were on a ride in our first London Black taxi. It was a small thing, but something I recommend everyone does. After a long day, we checked in to a hotel and hit the hay. Cheers.