Last weekend I had the opportunity to explore Northern Ireland. After learning the war between Ireland and Great Britain, my expectation of Belfast was slightly in the framework of still being in war. Once I arrived in Belfast, my point of view had changed completely by realizing how modern it actually was. On the bus tour, we got to see the Irish and British side of Belfast. The fact that it is easy to tell the difference of the two different areas was interesting because it helps others see the pride the people have for their nationality. Prior to visiting Belfast and even Ireland, I had limited knowledge on what was the real reason for the battle of the land. However, I was able to study their reasons in depth, and being able to see the real outcome was fascinating.
Even though Northern Ireland now belongs to the British after a long period of conflict, I still felt that the culture was more similar to the Irish than the British. The paintings and the people were my source of feeling this way. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see how Belfast is in present day after learning all the struggles it went through.
The next day, we drove to Derry where I got see the beautiful Rope Bridge and The Giants Causeway. The walk on the bridge was something I had never experienced which made this an adventure for me. During the walk, the beautiful view reminded me of being in Western Ireland .I thought that the nature was similar to Galway’s Cliffs of Mohr. This is just one of the many similar aspects which I find in common between Northern and Southern Ireland. After the beautiful walk, we visited the Giants causeway where it’s known for the unique rocks. These rocks were formed naturally along the sea, however, it was unknown in how they were uniquely formed. This also adds to the Irelands special nature, many countries definitely lack Ireland’s extraordinary sceneries and beauty.
After spending the night in Derry, the next day we took a walking tour where the guide explained the history behind “The Bloody Sunday”. This tour made me emotional as it made me realize how much Northern Ireland ha been through and it has only recently been exposed to other countries. It’s upsetting for a city such as Derry to not be so admired around the world. After being present in the location of where the actual Bloody Sunday took place, I could sense how harsh the actual day was. The museum of Free Derry made the experience more realistic as there were assets that were kept from the day. What made the experience even more realistic was the fact that Derry hasn’t evolved to be as modern as many countries have evolved to be today. By the end of the tour, it was saddening to see young innocent children get killed for no reason.
This trip made me gain a lot of knowledge about Irelands struggle; it was more interesting since I had no knowledge about the separation. I value the moments where I experienced genuine presence on the grounds of war.