Blogs from County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe

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Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Belfast October 19th 2018

Friday October 19 - After breakfast, we headed out to Belfast and arrived by 11:30am. It’s only 90 minutes away by highway. We parked in the apartment complex where we’d be staying, and walked into town from there, which took about 40 minutes. Belfast has a complex and somewhat violent recent past (think Bloody Sunday, where 14 unarmed civil rights protesters were shot by the British Army), but I was surprised at how many murals painted walls of buildings we passed by, alluding to not forgetting what had happened. It did not feel like a city at peace. We walked around downtown during the day, then took a free tour of city hall that happened to start when we arrived at 3pm. Next we headed over to a nearby mall to look at the building, discovered ... read more
Belfast Mural
Memorial
Belfast Mural


BELFAST NORTHERN IRELAND today we took a private tour of Belfast. We had a very nice driver, Phillip, a young man with five children. That’s what became apparent very quickly. The Irish, at least in Belfast, are reproducing at an astounding rate. Every woman of childbearing age is carting are at least one child under the age of 5. Anyway, I digress. We decided to drive around norther Ireland to get a lay of the land so to speak. We left Belfast and headed East along the head of Strangford Lock (or Lough as they spell it) to Bally water. We passed through many mall seaside towns all of which wee quite lovely. We then went to Mount Stewart Park and house. The Stewarts were originally from Scotland. They bought 4,000 acres in Londonderry and built ... read more
ENTRANCE FOYER IN STEWART MANOR
DINING ROOM IN STEWART MANOR
CAT GARDEN IN BELFAST CASTLE


The plan for this phase of the trip was to head east from Athlone, work up the coast and eventually arrive in the north – north east to be accurate. In this post we will cover this part of the trip and also pick up on our meandering around the counties of the north east, because it all seems to fit together. First, however, we should mention that prior to actually driving out of Athlone we had the chance to catch up with a friend from a trip on a truck through Africa back in 2010. Holly and her lad, Enda, made the trek up to meet us from their home an hour or so away. We had a very pleasant time over a long lunch, sharing memories of the big truck trip and catching up ... read more
This had us confused
Strangford
She's just pretending she hasn't seen you!


Got lost trying to find a bar because of the awful directions from the guy in the hostel. We got back and found some aussies to party with. They took us to this place called filthy mcnastys which was really empty. Until a whole bunch of college students rocked up for their formal after party. We had a great night partying with our new friends and a bunch of randoms. The next morning was a bit of a struggle as we hauled our hungover asses up at 8 in the morning for a tour at 10. We did a big day of Game of Thrones locations, crossing a rope bridge on to the island of Carrick-a-rede and most of all the giants causeway. It was so freaking pretty!! These rock formations created from lava and gradually ... read more
The Wall in Belfast
Aussie Aussie Aussie

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Belfast December 18th 2014

I always wanted to go to Belfast and to see what this place is all about, well I always wanted to go to Europe and see a castle, and chase some sheep. They say it's always green year round here, which I had a hard time imagining this to be, but it is! It rains like every flippin day for this to be so! Anytime I travel to a new destination I get that -travelbuzz- feeling for the unexpected that awaits me, however I was a bit disappointed for the scenery was reminding. Being spoiled in Morocco, for every turn was an exotic adventure, made Northern Ireland look like just another city to be saw like home. None-the-less it was fun, I stayed with friends in the country side called county down. Sheep roamed their back ... read more
County Down
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Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Downpatrick October 20th 2014

Geo: 54.3288, -5.71668On Monday I set my sails and sat nav for Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. The route took me back through Pettigo, so I waved at McGrath Castle as I drove on by and went back into the UK. It feels very odd to drive accross the border with no checkpoint, passport check, nothing. Just a sign on the side of the road saying Welcome to Northern Ireland. Another weird feeling is when your car is in kilometres, your brain is in kilometres but the speed limits are in miles. They look so slow! The sat nav finally earned its value for me by translating the mph limit to kph. Hopefully no nasty tickets will be coming for me. I arrived in Downpatrick in time for lunch. I'm staying at a pub which happens to ... read more
The "New" Gaol
They have a mound! Yay a mound!
Just cos I think its funny

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Belfast October 19th 2014

Well, since the two-day double decker bus tour in Derry was a bust, and because I felt as though I had seen everything I wanted to in that city, I decided to look into taking the train to and from Belfast for the day so I could squeeze in another city. I decided to go for it, and was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the Londonderry train station that the fare was much lower than I had expected! I then took the train to Belfast, which took about two hours and featured stunning views of the Irish countryside. Upon arrival in Belfast, I found a place to grab lunch and then headed to the tourism office to (hopefully) purchase a ticket for a bus tour. These bus tours were still running, and I was able ... read more
St. Anne's Cathedral
Tallest Celtic Cross in Ireland

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Hillsborough September 30th 2014

Beannachtaí (greetings) from Northern Ireland! I’ll begin this blog by commenting on the weather (surprised?). Northern Ireland is famous for its weather, especially bad weather. Well folks, we have been bathed in sunshine since we arrived. The great weather has followed us from Wales. We’re very happy to be back in Hillsborough with David and Barbara and family. David and Barbara live on a beautiful property near the Hillsborough village. Their main crops are flowers and eucalyptus which they sell locally. Barbara also grows tomatoes WITH flavour! Their secret ingredient is alpaca poo. The Erwins have two alpacas whose main role is lawn mowing but they also provide great fertiliser. Rest assured that the poo is mixed into the soil and not spread on the tomatoes! She also make the BEST jam you’ve ever tasted. She ... read more
Lunch in a country cafe
Back together
Claire modelling my glasses


Today was absolutely amazing. I started the morning off waking up early again so I could get to my tour to the Giant’s Causeway with Paddy Wagon. The tour guide today was named John and he was extremely funny. The Giants Causeway is in Northern Ireland which is a completely different country than the Republic of Ireland. So when we were crossing the border, John told us we would need our passports, a customs form, and five euros to enter. Of course he was just kidding but many people took it seriously and came to ask him about a form. He told them to see his secretary and then announced that we had all just crossed the border. Got to love Irishmen. Our first stop to the Causeway was at the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. It cost ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Belfast August 11th 2013

Beflfast, Giants Causeway, Bushmills at 26/02/2013... read more
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