Coastal Tour

Today we went on a bus tour of the Antrim Coast. I’d been on tours of the area a couple of times before, but there were some changes this time.

Anyway, first stop was Carrickfergus Castle and harbour.

The next stop was Carrick-a=Rede, with the rope bridge you can cross to a little island. But during the pandemic, the folks there laid off all the staff and didn’t pay them any furlough wages, so they decided not to come back when the site reopened. That means that there aren’t enough staff to handle tour buses, though apparently private cars are allowed.

Instead, we stopped at a viewing site, where we could look out across the North Atlantic at the rope bridge. But the fog was very thick, so we couldn’t see it. Instead, here’s a picture of a tree at the end of the world.

Next stop was the Dark Hedges, which I hadn’t visited before.

The trip to our next stop was… lengthy. It seemed all the highways we tried to travel on was obstructed by construction or heavy equipment or delivery trucks parked inconveniently.

But we made it.

I have no idea who any of those people are, but I wanted a picture of the sign.

Our final stop was the Giant’s Causeway. I’ve already got a bunch of pictures of the Causeway on this blog, so here are just a couple more.

Back to Belfast, after that. This is our last night in Northern Ireland – tomorrow, take the train down to Dublin for the final few days of our trip.

It’s been fun.

Belfast Down Day

Yesterday was another travel day – Kilkenny to Dublin to Belfast.The plasce we’re staying in Belfast is an AirBnB flat, just outside of the city centre. After getting settled, we went for a ramble around the neighbourhood to see where things were. We made our way down to the Cty Hall, and looked around to find a place to have dinner.

We ate at a restaurant called Hell Cat Maggie’s, then walked back to the flat. That evening, we decided to schedule a bus tour out to the Antrim coast for Monday, and a train ride to Derry/Londonderry for Sunday. Today, the plan was to ride the hop-on-hop-off bus in the morning, then Penny had an appointment for a tattoo in the afternoon.

But this morning, we were tired, and kinda done with tours for a bit. Instead, we walked down to the George Street Market, which was an awesome place full of food vendors and crafts and art and everything.

And, at one of the stalls, I found my souvenir ring for this trip.

After we had some lunch there, we went wandering down by the river and saw some of the memorable things I’ve seen before in Belfast, like:

The Big Fish. The area around it was much more park-like and friendly than the last time I was here.

Some seal statues that weren’t here on my last visit.

The Custom House steps, with it’s statue declaring that this used to be Speaker’s Square, where folks would come and orate or rant or whatever.

The Alber Clock. There used to be some cool fountains in front of it, but they’re not there anymore.

After that, Penny went to her tattoo appointment and I went back to the flat to do some laundry and this blog post. Later, we’ll head out for some dinner. And tomorrow, it’s the train to Derry/Londonderry.

Which should be cool.