As you could imagine, sleeping in a dorm with 11 other people, although saving money, is not a recipe for a good nights sleep. We moved into another hostel in Belfast that we share with only a Chinese couple so we will finally be getting decent sleep for our two final nights in Belfast. So great in fact, that as I type this, Jan is still napping even though we were planning to rent some bikes this morning to check out the city but its all good because it gives me time to indulge in Starbucks and catch up on some stuff. Late today we plan to go to the Titanic museum that only just opened last week.
Yesterday, as tired as we were, hopped on a day tour bus to ride up along the gorgeous coast to the north of Northern Ireland. We saw some old castles, the Bushmills wiskey distillery, more castles, and lots of sheep on the Irish glens; finally we got to our main destination, the Giants Causeway.
|Chillin' at the Giants Causeway|
|A close up of the shapes that make up the Causeway|
The Giants Causeway is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. It is an area right on the ocean made up of basalt columns backed together rightly in hexagonal shapes. They were formed the shrinking and cooling of molten lava from a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago. Or, for the idealist in you, local legend says that a giant living in the region built the Causeway to challenge his Scottish rival (hence the name Giant’s Causeway). Either way, the site was gorgeous and the weather made for some great pictures (although the wind made for extremely messy hair). The columns can be up to 12 meters high! Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out here so I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked but Jan got some.
|It was so windy all day!|
After this we went to the Carrick-a-Redge Bridge. It is a bridge built to connect a small island to mainland to fish the then bountiful salmon hundreds of years ago. I think its claim is that it is the worlds longest rope bridge. It was cool but packed with tourists and I soon regretted paying the additional 5-pounds to cross the bridge, it really wasn’t worth it. Now I can say that I’ve crossed it I guess and I got some good pictures.
|Me crossing the bridge|
That evening, we found free internet and went to plan our hostels and plans for Edinburgh. Since we will be there over Easter weekend it looks like we will have a difficult time finding a place to stay or book any kind of activity (I’m not sure why hostels are booked over Easter…don’t people stay home with their families over the holidays?!) Anyway, we have looked into Air BnB, which is a site where people can charge you for a room in their home. We contacted a few people and are hoping they get back to us because otherwise we won’t have anywhere to sleep!
Then we went to a few pubs. The pubs here have such character, it is refreshing. In one of them, we met an old man who introduced himself as the “King of the City”; he loved us. He had had a few to many to drink but he offered to buy us drinks and kept us entertained. We ended the night with dinner at KFC, which we weren’t allowed to eat in our rooms, the hostel lobby or the KFC so we sat in the hallway and shoved our faces full.