Surprise trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland

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On our 2 year anniversary Sassi gave me (Nick) a surprise which wouldn’t happen until the 4th February all I knew was that I would have to keep my weekend free.

Little did I know Sassi actually secretly booked off work for me on the Monday after this weekend and bought us tickets to Belfast in Northern Ireland. This was a nice little surprise to get considering we were both feeling unwell from having colds.

Sassi planned the whole thing, although something came up when we contacted the airbnb host, he ended up being a little awkward with us and very unhelpful and made us feel unwelcome and this was just over messaging. From this we decided to would be better to book a room elsewhere, so we manged to quickly book a Guest house room close to the centre called Pearl Court.

We flew to Belfast from Gatwick airport for only £20 return with Ryanair, the flight only took about 1 hour 15 minutes. Once we landed in Belfast, Sassi had planned to meet a friend from Hungary who now lives in Belfast, she kindly picked us up and took us a for a little tour of the area which was great. We even got to meet her little 7 week old daughter who was the tour guide assistant.

First stop was the peace wall, where we got out and had a look at the paintings that covered the wall, all relating to peace and political messages about the world. The wall was full of creativity and really showed some amazing visuals with deep meanings behind them.

We then headed off to Helen’s Bay to visit a nice beach, although it was very cold it was a lovely place to walk around and take in the nice scenery.

After this we went to Bangor and walked around the harbor, by this time the sun was setting and we got to witness the lovely colours in the sky over the water. Melinda told us that today has been a randomly nice day, as it is usually raining, apparently even worse than England if you can believe that.

We drove back to Belfast city centre and stopped off at the Titanic museum which was a really interesting building, then we stopped at a the big fish. Afterwards we met David who is married to Melinda, we invited them for dinner to say thank you for showing us around the city. We ate a little cafe called Maggie Mays which seems to be popular with students as we were near the Queen Mary University. The food was good for the price, Sassi decided to go with something more Irish, with a Stew and potatoes. I chose the Titanic burger which was pretty nice.

After dinner we arrived at our guesthouse which was an old Victorian house opposite the University, it was nice but the only downside it was freezing cold at night inside the rooms along with the bathrooms having broken showers.

The breakfast was nice in the morning, we had to get up early for our tour that Sassi booked to the Giant Causeway. We were picked up late but in the end we weren’t the last ones to arrive but it would of been quicker for us to walk to the meeting point. The tour was booked with McCombs tours, and included stopping at Carrick Fergus castle, rope bridge at Carrick-a-rede, the Giant Causeway and Bushmills distillery. The tour guide/ driver was very talkative and gave us lots of information about Northern Ireland.

We had a short stop over at the Castle, only enough time to take a few photos, although Sassi slipped on a rock when we were climbing around the castle. We then left for our 2 hour drive along the coast taking in the beautiful views as we drove to the next stop. We even got a peak of a Game of Thrones set, the black castle, which was set up in a quarry. The weather was perfect and made for a good drive as we looked out the window.

Carrick-a-rede was one of the main stops where we had a enough time to cross the rope bridge (£5.90) it was a 20 minute walk to get to the bridge from the car park, and had to wait to cross the bridge as it was only a few people allowed to go across at a time. The bridge was pretty safe it swayed and you can see the water crashing against the rocks below but it wasn’t so scary. Once we got to the other side there was only a little walk around a bend and that was it, so not much to see but we got some lovely views of the Cliff and islands near by. The area was pretty stunning.

They stopped off for lunch for a pub that the tour company has connections with, we made our own lunch but went to the pub opposite which was empty and had a Magners. After this we made our way to the Giants Causeway which was pretty amazing, the formation of the rocks, and how they all look like similar was really interesting. Around 40,000 hexagonal rocks all around this one area made for a interesting walk as we jumped around the posed for photos.

The last stop was at Bushmills whiskey distillery where we had a year 5 year old whiskey and an 8 year old whiskey, we weren’t very keen on whiskey so wasn’t a tasty option for us. We went back to the city and were dropped off by the City Hall.

We walked from the city hall to a mexican restaurant on the walk we came across a Homeless guy who couldn’t speak English so we bought him some KFC as it was freezing cold outside. We then had a nice dinner together and made our way back to the guest house for some well needed rest.

We had a afternoon flight so spent the morning walking around the city seeing some last sights and keeping out of the rain where possible. We took the bus to the airport which was £7.50 from Europa bus centre. No delays flying home in fact we arrived earlier which was pretty good.

 

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