or: i left my sunglasses in chicago (saturday)
Because Lauren and I had only made plans for getting to Belfast and back and where we’d be staying for those two nights, we took a little time out of our adventures on Friday to plan for the weekend. We ultimately decided on a day trip up the coast to Giant’s Causeway on Saturday and the Black Taxi Tour on Sunday before (sadly) returning to real life.
An early start, free breakfast, a stop at Spar for some snacks, and a five minute walk to the bus stop later, we climbed on the bus at 9am and got excited for some beautiful views. Our first stop was Carrickfergus Castle, but because there was a €5 admission fee, we opted out and chose to test our luck near the water.
Our next couple stops were the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Bushmills distillery. Lauren had begun to suffer terrible motion sickness because of the rolling motion of the bus as it maneuvered the coast line and the hot sun beating down on us, so I suggested we find a chemist (aka pharmacist) to get some dramamine or other motion sickness medicine. When she asked for the medicine, the chemist promptly advised her to take two tablets two hours before the journey. Dismayed, we explained that we were in the middle of the journey, but she assured us that it would still help. Then I had the idea that Lauren should buy some Sprite, but not open it until she needed it on the bus. Luckily, she didn’t really need it—Giant’s Causeway was less than a 15 minute drive from the distillery!
Being the well-educated travellers that we are,* we knew precisely nothing more about Giant’s Causeway other than that it’s got supposedly gorgeous views. And boy, was that true! The remarkable rock formations look unreal, as though they couldn’t possibly have occurred naturally, and thus all the mythology that surrounds them. More than that, we were blessed with sunny and almost over-warm weather!** If you ever have the chance to make it up to Giant’s Causeway, I highly recommend it, but don’t take my word for it, take a look at my pictures (which only really partly do it justice).
We were allotted just over two hours to hike and explore Giant’s Causeway before taking the express route back to Belfast. Where it had taken us about six hours to traverse the coastline north (with several short stops in between), our return journey was just over an hour. And Lauren’s medicine kicked in at just the right time!
Upon arriving back in Belfast a little after 7pm, I took a much needed micronap, and we got a recommendation from one of the Vagabonds staff members*** to check out a place called Filthy McNasty’s. It certainly recommends itself. Mom, it was neither filthy nor nasty, and aside from the fact that the bartenders ignored me for five minutes before I could order a drink, it was really rather fun! The walls were covered in classic rock and oldies records, and one wall was essentially a shrine to the Rolling Stones. This was my kind of place!
As Sunday would be an early morning, we headed back early and tucked in as most people were just heading out for the night. Look out for tomorrow’s post featuring, for the first time: video footage!
*I jest. We are actually very thoughtful and prepared most of the time. And, honestly, this trip clearly couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, in spite of our lack of prior information.
**I have a theory: Saturdays in Ireland are the best. Best weather, best plans, best conversation, best everything! I don’t know how they do it…
***Here’s to you, Southern Florida!