Halloweekend in the North
I spent my Halloween on a bus to Belfast. Some fun facts about this brief 6 hour trip to the North- Our bus driver was a stylish older man, with a new colorful scarf every day. He loved to make jokes about leaving us behind. Also, Irish rest stops along the motorway are so much better than the ones in the States. You can actually find healthy food! There was a deli/creperie that made me a delicious goat cheese and spinach croissant sandwich.
We finally arrived at the hotel. As college students we’re accustomed to twin sized moderately comfortable beds and surviving on pasta and oatmeal. So, this hotel with its queen beds, spacious shower, and all you can eat breakfast buffet was heaven for us.
On Friday, we absolutely lucked out with the weather for our day of exploring the Northern coast. The day involved crossing rope bridges, a great lunch (fresh salmon and creme brûlée!) in Bushmills, and seeing the beautiful Giants Causeway. The photos don’t do Giants Causeway justice, it is one of those places you need to experience in person. A few of us spent a solid thirty minutes just lying in the grass along the water and absorbing the scenery. We didn’t want to leave.
Saturday we took a black taxi tour around Belfast with drivers who had lived in the city throughout its complicated political and religious history. They told us stories of violence that occurred so recently that it was a bit unsettling. The best part was seeing all the murals on both the houses and walls that surrounded the neighborhoods. After the tour, and after eating a second breakfast at the hotel buffet, we headed into the city for more exploring. Belfast is such a modern city and very different than anywhere I had been in southern Ireland.