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Posts Tagged ‘Northern Ireland’

For the first time in 5 years we had the chance to get away for a few days.  Besides doing bed and breakfast, it is the animals that are the greatest tie for us, most especially the dogs.  They are about us all day, every day, so if we go away we need to organise ‘company’ for them.

This year, friends, who had come into our lives as b and b guests, volunteered to come house-sit for us.  Other friends offered us a place to stay… so with a bit of juggling it finally all came together and we headed to Northern Ireland.  I thought I’d share with you how we planned (using that term very loosely) our days away.

We had three full days staying in Groomsport – a village located outside of Belfast. We were overlooking the beach.  Even in November this was wonderful!

Our view every morning

We had broad ideas of the things we’d like to do… me : Giant’s Causeway and Carrig a Rede Bridge; Alfie:  Bushmill’s and the Titanic Centre.

Our approach was this… we choose 3 things for each day, a mix of indoor and outdoor activities .. and then stay flexible as weather and time/daylight especially comes into play in November.

Our first day, Thursday, was bright and windy so we headed straight to the Giant’s Causeway.  We took the self-guided audio tour which is well worth it for the myths and legends that the guide was telling.  The views are spectacular.  It is quite a walk down to the Causeway.  Let me say, the columns are way way smaller than all those photos you’ve seen lead you to believe!

The columns are smaller than I expected!

We climbed to Finn McCool’s organ, and then even tackled the 162 Shepherd’s Steps.  Well worth the climb for the views.  I swear you could just about make out Scotland across the water.

Causeway View from Top

In total we spent about 2.5 hours at the Causeway.

As it started to spit rain we decided to head back into Bushmills about 2 miles away to visit the distillery.  This was where we got our first indication of the ‘currency’ charges.  Most visitor centres in Northern Ireland add an extra 30% onto the charge when you are using a ‘euro’ Visa card.  That was a shock!

We still did the tour, which is definitely worth doing (btw no photos allowed in there).  However, we didn’t buy any whiskey as weirdly we can buy it cheaper back at home!!!!

When we came out from tour, rain had stopped so a short drive over to Carrig A Rede bridge.  However, luck was not on our side.  As I say it was a bright and windy day… but the wind meant that the bridge was closed.  It was also at this point that we made the discovery that it gets darker earlier up North!  I know makes common sense, but hadn’t thought about it before we left.  There was at least half an hour in the difference!

While there was still a little bit of light left in the day we continued along the coastal route heading back towards Belfast.  Quite a spectacular route.

More details of our trip coming later.

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