I was more than excited for our excursion to Northern Ireland. When my mom had come to visit me, she had taken a day trip up to Belfast and Giant’s Causeway. She had told me nothing but good things. I was intrigued to see what the living was like up there because of the religious and political differences. I was also excited to be there because my great-grandfather is from Derry.
Upon our arrival to Belfast, I instantly saw differences between Belfast and Dublin. For example, the taxis were different than in Dublin. The cars were the types of cars you would find in London. Which makes sense since Northern Ireland is still under British rule. Also, the city itself was a lot more of a city. Dublin is more of a big town, where Belfast felt more of like a city to me, maybe it was because there were actually tall buildings in the city.
We visited the Parliament and learned about the similarities between the Parliament building in Belfast, Stormont and Westminster in London. They both have replica rooms for the Senate and the House of Commons. It’s a beautiful building located on a beautiful estate and it over looks the city of Belfast.
We also did a bus tour and got to see the Peace Wall and a lot of murals. The murals were very interesting. Some of them were actually frightening and I wouldn’t like to see those when I walk around. But other really touched my heart and made me think about all the problems that go on. The Peace Wall was kind of frightening as well. I just don’t like the idea of having two communities separated by a wall. But it really makes you think about how the bad the situation was to have to do that.
After staying in Belfast for one night, we went back onto the road and drove for a bit to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and Giant’s Causeway. I loved going to both of the places. The Carrick-a-rede rope bridge was incredible! The beauty was overwhelming! I also thought it was so cool to be in an area where Game of Thrones was filmed. The Giant’s Causeway was also incredible. I loved the story behind it. My mother used to read “Finn Mccool and the Great Fish” and when I realized where I was, I was so thrilled! It was breathtakingly beautiful and I loved looking at such a natural wonder.
Derry. Derry was a whole different place to me. I couldn’t grasp the idea of living in a “walled city”. It was very eerie, at least that’s what I got from my tour and just exploring. We went to the Bloody Sunday museum where I learned a lot about the incident that taken place in 1972. The owner’s brother was actually killed during Bloody Sunday. Michael Kelly, was murdered on Bloody Sunday, he was shot in the stomach. John Kelly, the brother introduced himself by saying, “I’m the brother of Michael Kelly, who was murdered on Bloody Sunday”. When this was said my heart dropped. I couldn’t believe it. I could never imagine thinking of my brother dying trying to fight for his home. It put my life in a whole new perspective.
Overall, my trip to Northern Ireland was excellent. I learned so much over the weekend and it’s allowed me to broaden my knowledge with the conflicts between the Republic of Ireland the Northern Ireland.