Belfast, Northern Ireland
After one of the coolest experiences I've had in Galway, Ireland, I had to continue my trip out to Belfast for the last city I would be visiting in Ireland (Northern Ireland which is part of the UK).
I get up at 7:45am to catch a bus at 8:30am from the Galway bus station which is a five minute walk away from the hostel I was staying at. I say goodbye to my cute receptionist Tina who I blew a date off for my other friend Leanna and make my to the bus station.
This first bus was to go back to the Dublin Airport where I would then have to catch another bus to Belfast. It takes roughly 3-3.5 hours to get from Galway to the Dublin Airport via bus.
On the bus ride I listened to my new audiobook called "The Celestine Prophecy" for the second time within four days. When I get off the bus at the airport I asked the bus driver what bus goes to Belfast and it was right next to where we departed. I buy a ticket to Belfast at a ticket stand and wait the 20 minutes until the next bus would arrive.
This bus was more of a commuter bus it seemed like because I had to carry BOTH of my packs on the bus, where as normally I can put my big backpack below the bus. I throw my main pack in the middle of the walkway because the bus was full too. I awkwardly sit there next to some middle eastern looking guy holding my smaller backpack on my lap with my main pack by my side.
We stop at the first station and the guy next to me gets off so I fill his seat with my main pack. I then get to talking with an elder couple that was sitting next to me who was from San Diego and was on a mission to find out more of their heritage out in Northern Ireland. When we were 35 minutes away from Belfast our bus breaks down... Another bus arrives to take us to Belfast 20 minutes later.
I arrive in Belfast around 3-4pm and had to walk one mile to the hostel I was staying at called, Lagan Backpackers which turned out to be one of the most home feeling hostels I've got to stay at since traveling. The receptionist were all so friendly and we all quickly became friends. I check in to my room and meet one of my bunk mates and shower up to get the travel stank off me.
After having a cup of free coffee in the kitchen downstairs and talking with a few people I bust out my laptop to write about my experiences out in Galway.
I start writing and get roughly 1,200 words down until the internet kept messing up so I said screw it and put my laptop away and continued to pull out my camera and pick and edit the pictures to incorporate in to my blog.
Finishing up on a little work, I decided to treat myself to some food and craft beer. I walk a half mile to this craft beer bar/restaurant called "The Woodworkers" and sat down at the bar and ordered a 6 pound (UK currency) pint of a 6.8% sour from Yellow Belly Brewing. I then ordered a 9.5 pound Mexican chicken burger that came with sweet potato fries. When I finish the beer and burger I grab one more Pale Ale that was 5.2% and actually very good! I was very impressed. This place was a little more expensive then I would have liked but it was cool! I would recommend it for sure!
I get back to my hostel after stopping to grab a four pack of Guinness, a pale ale, and an IPA from the liquor store. When I get back to my hostel I head up to my room where I strike up a conversation with the other roommate I had in my room.
Her name was Barbra and she was a 35 year old Chilean Veterinarian from Santiago who I had a 3 hour conversation with. Her and I became really good friends in that short time and I got to learn all about her life. We pass out at 2am after we get two more roommates around 1:45am named Dani and Marcos who were from a city near Alicante, Spain.
We all wake up around 8:15am to go grab the best breakfast I've had yet, FOR FREE, from our hostel. Every morning from 8-10am they offer you free breakfast including coffee or tea, a fried egg, a piece of toast, a sausage, a big piece of bacon, and some baked beans. It was amazing!
After the breakfast, Barbra and I head out to go see the peace wall which was about a mile and a half away.
Since neither of us had service outside of Wifi, we couldn't see where all of the peace wall was so we only got to see a portion of it. After the long walk we were pretty hungry so we walked by the main city hall to a Boojum (Irish Chipotle-esq chain) where I paid for her burrito and I got a burrito bowl.
After the Mexican food, we headed out to the botanical garden's where we had gone before going to see the peace wall because it was a five minute walk from our hostel. Since it was now the afternoon and a gorgeous sunny day, everyone was out on the grass out there drinking and playing around while taking in the sunshine. Her and I stayed there just talking sitting on the grass for a good hour before I had to say bye to her around 2pm.
She left and I still had a little bit of work to be completed on my Galway blog post so I busted out my laptop to finish it.
Right as Barbra left, I had met a new roommate whose name was Amy and was from England.
We became friends real quick. She went to go snag some food while I finished up with my Galway blog post. She gets back as I finished up taking a shower and I was just about to go grab some beer by myself when she asks me to go with her and some hostel workers to the park for some beers.
We had to go pick up alcohol and ended up never meeting with the hostel workers so her and I went to the same botanical garden where I had gone earlier in the day a couple times to just sit, sip, and talk. I grab another four pack of Guinness, a mosaic pale ale, and another pale ale.
I quickly get to learn about Amy and how she had came out here for an ex-boyfriend that just broke up a week ago and he just lost his dad too.
When she got to the Belfast airport she finds out he didn't want her there so she decided to just stay at the hostel for two nights anyways. That night we wanted to take advantage of our time in Belfast so we went out to a local bar called "Kelly's" where we had a pint while listening to a live band. We liked that bar but wanted to move on to see what else Belfast has to offer. We then go to a bar called "The Hudson Bar" which had a really good IPA on tap and was playing a live boxing match who the main event boxer was from Belfast so everyone was rooting for him. We stayed and had two beers to watch the fight where he won.
We were fairly tipsy after all the beers at this point and had to be up fairly early to go see the giants causeway the next morning so we decide to make the 1.5 mile walk back to our hostel.
On the way home we decide we were hungry so we stopped and grabbed a kebab and finished them just before getting to our hostel. We pass out real quick after getting back.
The next morning, everyone in the room (6 people) all wake up around 7:45am and it turns out Dani, Marcos, Amy, and I were all going to see the Giants Causeway tour today.
We go downstairs for the free breakfast and get ready for the day. We got picked up at 9:15am in a shuttle bus to catch a bigger coach bus to then start making our way up the eastern coast of Belfast to go see the Giant's Causeway (the 8th wonder of the world). We drive about an hour where we make our first stop to see a 800 year old, very well preserved, castle.
After stopping at the castle for 20 minutes, we hop back on the bus to then drive up the sixth most gorgeous drives in the world along the north eastern Ireland coast where we drive by Castle Black and the White Wall from Game of Thrones on way to the second stop which was the Carrack-A-Rede rope bridge.
We all had to walk about 15 minutes to the bridge and went by the numbers across the bridge to the other side where all we could do was take pictures. It was pretty awesome being able to walk over that bridge! Something I will probably never get the chance to do again. After hopping on the bus we then had to drive another hour along the most gorgeous coastal road I've ever been on to get to a restaurant for some lunch.
We stop at this home style buffet type of restaurant where I got some chicken pot pie filling, carrots, leaks, and baked potatoes and a sprite.
It was then a 5 minute bus ride to the Giants Causeway. We get there and get dropped off at the entrance which is then a 15-20 minute walk to the stones that is the Giants Causeway. As we are walking down the path to the causeway Dani, Marcos, Amy, and I are talking and we turn around the corner to see the stones and are all just in awe... It was one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen! These stones were aligned together in almost perfect harmony in hexagonal shape that were formed from a volcano and takes one of the shapes of life, just as a bee hive does. We stand on the stones in amazement with the wind blowing on our face in the late afternoon.
After taking a few pictures and getting to soak it all in, we all decide to walk up the hill a little bit to a wall that was on the side of the mountain. At this wall the same hexagonal shaped stones were and it went many feet high. It was so crazy to see how the universe can conspire to make these amazing architectural wonders.
We then head back down the cliff to stand on the stones one more time before making our way up to the bus again. I stop at the local bar where I pounded the best tasting Heineken I have ever had in my life within 5 minutes before having to get back on the bus.
Now that it was roughly 5:00pm we were on our way back to Belfast. On the way home the bus driver takes us to "The Kings Road" from Game of Thrones where the trees have actually intertwined over the span of 100 years to make an awesome looking scenery.
I pass out on the bus ride home as he then takes the un-scenic route on the freeway back to Belfast.
We get back to our hostel around 6:30pm where we then grabbed some beer to bring back to our hostel to keep it easy tonight after a long day of roaming around.
We go downstairs in Lagan's Backpackers hostel to watch Netflix through a projector. We sit there watching Rick and Morty and Spartacus for a few hours before heading upstairs to hit the hay.
The next morning Amy was gone by 7am and I stay in bed until roughly 8:45am when I then head downstairs to grab some breakfast before I had to leave for the bus station to make my way out to Glasgow, Scotland at 10am.
I say goodbye to my cute receptionist from Australia, Ellaine, and depart to the bus station...
Thank you everyone for reading my little blog and if you liked it make sure to read the other posts!