All in a Day’s Work: Northern Ireland

20 Feb

This past Saturday stands out to me as my personal favorite day so far during my time studying abroad. In the middle of our weekend trip to Northern Ireland, we all got to enjoy the likes of the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, and both the cities of Belfast and Derry. The scenery along the drives to all of these places was equally as magnificent as the time spent there.

 

Our day began in Belfast, as we all gathered for breakfast in the hotel. While not much took place in the city on that day because we simply left it behind, it was still great to be able to wake up in such a great place. We had toured the city the day before, and I was surprisingly impressed with how much I enjoyed it. I certainly had strong expectations for what Belfast would be like, but nothing can compare to actually walking its streets and learning its history while being there.

 

Our first stop for the day was at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in County Antrim. The scenery both on our way there and especially actually at the site was unbelievable. The experience of it all was amazing too, as I had not only heard countless stories of people crossing the bridge themselves, but also saw the experience as a way of overcoming my fear of heights. Sure enough, I walked across with confidence, and feel that I’ve finally overcome my fear.

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We continued on along of course more beautiful scenery, this time en route to the Giant’s Causeway. Long known as a place of myths and legends, heralded by the great giant Finn MacCoul, it was exciting to turn the tales into a reality firsthand. I was amazed to learn the story about the Causeway’s physical formation while standing directly in the midst of it. The blending of the mythical tales about the Causeway and the truth about the cooled lava creating the structure very slowly over time was a lot of fun to hear about. There was nothing better than the view we caught from taking the Red Trail up above the rocks:

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We eventually made our way into what has come to be my favorite city since arriving to Ireland, “Legen”Derry. I had previously been unaware of how rich the city is in history, culture, and stories. I knew of Bloody Sunday of course, but to walk along the streets where the events took place was incomparable to learning about the tragedy in class. Further, the city is a wonderful sight to behold in itself, as it is lined with classic buildings and roads, and highlighted by the curving Peace Bridge.

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The weekend as a whole was incredible, and Saturday was certainly my favorite because it provided us with the best of everything during the trip. 

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