Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

If tomorrow never comes, Will she know how much I loved her…

So today I got out of Belfast, having experienced a fair amount of a city younger than Melbourne, and went on a tour to experience the “rest” of Northern Ireland.  In particular I think they refer to the area we went as the Atrium Coast.  Any fear that I would once again be doing a one on one tour were put at ease…by a completely full coach that departed at 10am this morning.

Our first stop was just a photo stop.  It was at Carrickfergus castle which is just 20 mins from Belfast.  It was probably “just a castle” from the outside. But as the statue of William of Orange out the front suggests it played an important role in laying the foundations of the Protestant vs Catholic dispute that engulfed Belfast.  It was here that William of Orange first landed to defeat the Catholic king.

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We then drove along some really nice coast line. Our guide/driver for the day was very insightful as he explained a little story or anecdote about most of the tiny little towns we past through…and there were a LOAD of them.  It was great though as it was sunny (yes…sunny in ireland!!!) so much so that I  regreted not having my sunnies with me.  Also, the coastal drive gives you a great perspective of how close Ireland is to Scotland (about 12 miles at the closest point!)  You can literally see the coastline and smell the Tennants😛

After having another quick photo/drink stop in Carnlough we went a little inland.  We went inland to go to the Bushmills Distillery -the oldest license d whisky distillery in the world.  We didn’t have enough time to take the tour, but I was able to learn the difference between Scotch and Irish Whisky as well as down some of the very nice 12 year old Whisky Reserve.  It continues my observation that I usually HATE whisky (irish or scottish) or bourbon…but if you have “the good stuff” or the accurate stuff – you see what they are all talking about.  It was very nice

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It was as we were leaving the Bushmills Distillery that the weather turned “irish”.  The winds picked up out of no where, the sun disappeared and the light showers took its place.  It was a little disappointing as after taking a quick photo of Dunlace Castle, we arrived at the main attraction of the tour – and Northern Ireland – the giants causeway.  It is a quite impressive geological formation (although the Irish story telling tradition suggests it is the work of Giant’s ;)).  It may be more beautiful if you aren’t freezing your *coughs* off or if you are not trying not to be blown off the edge of the cliff…but I don’t know if you could ever get such weather in Ireland.  Thankfully there was a local hotel, a Guiness and some fudge bought from the gift shop to warm me back up.  (Yes I know….I am really addict to fudge!!  It is just available all of the UK!!!).

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Our final stop was at Carrick-a-rede…its another coastal town but it has a difference.  It has a rope bridge stretching 50ft over a 80 ft gap in the rocks.  Bravely (or stupidly) I went across and it actually wasn’t too bad.  Yes I am still very afraid of heights but I swear I will prove I can manage that fear by the end of the this year haha.  It was also helpful that I wasn’t the most afraid.  An american woman and an 11 year old Irish boy both needing to be helped back (It seems that they forget that once you go over…the only way back is back over the bridge haha).

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It was then a sleepy busride and back to Belfast.  I am quite exhausted after a long day so just read the paper and about to go find some food (I must admit the fish and chips I have already had twice for dinner or the KFC on the corner are looking inviting for my tired legs).  Then tomorrow it is up and off to Dublin.  I haven’t booked a ticket (as the info desk ppl at the Belfast Welcome Centre said that it wasn’t any cheaper and the bus wouldn’t be packed), but we will see how that goes.  The bus runs hourly though…so at least some time tomorrow I will be in Dublin.  My home for the next week or so!

March 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. starting with ronan keating was a lovely touch hahahah and the fact that i knew in about a second flat proves again i’m a sad ‘pop’ queen. so jealous, i actually have a desire to be out in that horrendous irish weather, there’s no where else in the world you could GET that experience!! i think it would be wicked and am tres jealous! there’s something so nice about being freezing, wet, and surrounded by wind… that’s real nature for you! i’m proud of you for the bridge thing too… i know that must have been quite an effort but a well worth it experience!

    Comment by ella | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. quick complaint WHERE ARE THE PHOTOS hmmmmm? lol i know you’re busy, have a great time! lots of love

    Comment by ella | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. LOL if it makes you feel any better i did a ‘shocked simie face’ at the thought of you going across the bridge well done! If it was me i’d probably would just tell the tour bus to leave without me cause i’d be too afraid to go back haha good to hear you are enjoying Ireland!

    Comment by Christ | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. Haha Ella – photos will be added when I am back in Leeds. Cameras and internet cafes don’t mix😛

    Christ – I would’ve thrown you over to the other side, or at least attempted to who knows if I am THAT strong haha…no way I would’ve left ya there😉

    Comment by casaboy69 | March 31, 2009 | Reply


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