Northern Ireland

I have greatly enjoyed our time in Northern Ireland. We took a bus from Glasgow to a ferry where our bus drove onboard. It was a 2.5-hour ferry ride and it was actually a lot less wavy than I expected. We got off the bus and the ferry had games, TVs, restaurants, and other activities.

On our way to our accommodations, we ran into the largest marching band parade in Northern Ireland. It was super cool. The bands just kept coming! We left after an hour and it was still going!

We have traveled all around the world and had never seen gas station laundry. You pay and sit as the laundry is done on the side of the road.  With that let the Ireland blog entry really begin.

We stayed on a farm with turkeys, pigs, ducks, geese, horses, cows and sheep. It was a great place to stay and we stayed there a few extra nights because we loved it so much. We met the farm owners who also had a drone business like we do and had tea with them on multiple occasions. They were very nice to talk to and it was cool to find some friends over here in Europe.

I thought the place we stayed in Northern Ireland was one of my favorites so far. It was cool to have a dog where we were staying because it loves playing fetch and I greatly enjoyed having a dog for a few days because I miss Vesta very much.

One day we went and met our relative over here named Austin. He and his wife are very nice and made us tea and cookies while we talked. I learned that Ireland uses the same currency as England, the pound. I learned that Northern Ireland will accept pound printed in Scotland but Scotland and much of England will not accept pounds printed in Northern Ireland. That would be like Denver accepting coins minted in Philly but Philly not accepting coins minted in Denver. Austin thinks that Northern Ireland will become one nation again within the next two years because of the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland. He thinks about leaving the UK and joining Ireland (which is part of the European Union) will be better for the Northern Irish economy. Taxes and gasoline are crazy. For example, something might cost one pound but have seven pounds of taxes added on!  Usually, I would send a thank you note but it is not as easy so I hope Austin and Trish will accept this… THANK YOU!

We went to visit the Dark Hedges which are a group of 500-year-old beech trees with the road down the middle. They were used in the TV series Game of Thrones.

We also did the Gobbins Trail which is a path built into the cliffs above the ocean. The meaning of the name is quite disputed but it is believed that it means Headlands or Mouth Mountain through the Headlands name is more likely. The trail was developed in about 1902. It was built by the railway. The goal was to make it so that people could come out of the cities on the weekends and enjoy the wilderness. The railroad built many summer homes and created a small town and when a person from the city bought one they got free first class tickets on the train for life. Then they built the Gobbins Trail. People would go in their fanciest clothes because it was considered a special occasion to go out to The Gobbins. The pathway is VERY narrow and most of the trail was to narrow to walk next to someone. I think it would have been extremely difficult in the olden days because ladies wore big fancy dresses and men wore suits with dress shoes. Now they make you wear hiking boots and a helmet because it is so rough and narrow it is necessary.

The trail was closed from 1954 to 2014 because of a landslide taking out much of the second half of the trail and because of WWII. It was closed for 60 years before reopening in 2014. The original gate post that is not 116 years old is still there and had not moved at all but the new gate that was put there four years ago has already blown away into the sea twice and had to be replaced. We only walked on the original trail part of the time. None f the original railings are used but much of the path is and some parts of the retaining wall. There are 24 bridges in total and none of the originals are in use although we did get to see one of them.

There are bridges, caves and even a rocky passage that goes to an elevation that is under sea level.  Below one of the cliffs where many birds nest, there is a covered bridge to protect people from “unwanted presents”. At the very end, there is a spot called Puffin Point that has lots of puffin nests in the summer. Sadly all we saw was a pair of gulls, an albatross, an abandoned nest with two eggs still in it and a Cormorant. The hike was really fun and I would recommend it to everyone who goes through the area. Our guide was Gerard and he was funny and also very informative. Thank you, Gerard!

My image for this blog is a statue tribute to the last goat slaughtered during the 2000 Foot and Mouth outbreak. The live goat tied to it was very friendly and liked my crackers.

We also enjoyed seeing Giant’s Causeway which I did a research paper on so make sure to read that as well!   

3 Responses to “Northern Ireland

  • Janet Shown
    2 years ago

    What a wonderful, newsy post, Rhys! Loved reading about all your adventures. The places and people sound fascinating. Your world is widening day by day. What a gift!

  • Barb Walker
    2 years ago

    I love Northern Ireland too. You are a talented writer, Rhys. Your words make me feel as if I’m traveling with you.

  • Tom Bieging
    2 years ago

    Love all the updates with your posts. It is almost like being with you guys. What is the next adventure?

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