United Kingdom
Northern Ireland

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    • Day 42

      Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

      October 25, 2021 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      Wir fahren weiter in den Norden, nächstes Ziel das Cover vom Lonely-Planet Reiseführer 😅: Die Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Eine kleine Hängebrücke, die ursprünglich von Fischern installiert worden ist, dann natürlich zur Touristenattraktion wurde aufgrund der besonderen Lage. Die Fahrt dauert etwas über eine Stunde - hier ist ja alles mit Meilen seit wir offiziell in England sind, auch eine Umstellung 🙈 vor allem ist das ganz plötzlich passiert, auch beim Handy usw.; unsere Reisepässe wurden aber nirgends kontrolliert.
      Beim Parkplatz der Brücke ist der Einweiser total nett, spricht sogar auf Deutsch. Leider ist die Brücke derzeit gesperrt, man kann aber trotzdem hinlaufen. Schade, ich wollte so ein Bild knipsen, wie auf dem Reiseführer, aber wir gehen natürlich trotzdem hin - und es lohnt sich sehr 😍 Wir haben auch wieder Traumwetter und auch nicht sehr viele Leute sind da als wir ankommen 🌞 Der Weg dorthin ist schon sehr schön und wir genießen die Aussicht, bevor wir weiterfahren.
      Wir machen noch einen kleinen Halt bei einem Game of Thrones Drehort, davon gibts hier im Norden sehr viele. Also für die Jungs was interessantes, die die Serie auch gesehen haben ☺️: Die Eiseninseln oder Iron Islands.
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      Traveler  Wunderschön

    • Day 4

      Myths and Legends

      June 5, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

      Another packed day. Sunshine has prevailed all day, so we have been taking advantage of that. A drive through the Catholic neighborhood in Belfast. Saw the Sinn Fein headquarters and a tribute to Bobbie Sands before heading out of town. The Dark Hedges were impressive beech trees with winding branches, made famous in The Game of Thrones. Next was Carrick a Rede Rope bridge. Long hike down to the bridge and long line to wait to cross but worth it - one of our bucket list items. Weather was perfect so no excuse! Rounded out the afternoon with a hike at Giant’s Causeway. Crazy crowded but our driver, Pat, got us in the parking area. Several hundred people joined us, learning the legend of Finn MacCool. Pictures can’t capture the beauty. Ended the day at our next stop in Donegal. The Mill Park Hotel after a drive around Derry and a walk across the Peace Bridge.Read more

      Traveler  Game of Thrones!!!! I’m dying right now.


      Traveler  Did you do it?? I have dreamed of it and I might make it to the edge.


      Traveler  Oh yeah. A bit of panic when a kid was shaking the bridge. But made it! Have to go back too….sometimes I had chosen to not think about


      Traveler  Tell Finn MacCool I said 👋 another dream

    • Day 28

      A bad hair day on the Antrim Coast

      May 24 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      We bid farewell to Belfast’s peak hour traffic this morning and wound our way up to ‘Napoleon’s nose’, which is on the most prominent hill that overlooks Belfast. The morning started a little bleak, but the strenuous climb from the carpark (an hour round trip) got the blood pumping as there was quite a bit of vertical distance to gain in order to reach the summit.
      In addition to being a bit hazy it was quite cold and windy on top, but it was good to see Belfast from this perspective and with the help of our binoculars, pick out some of the landmarks we had visited during the last 24 hours.

      Next we started heading north along the Antrim coastline and stopped in at Carrickfergus Castle for a brief inspection. This region is quite historic and many battles have been fought nearby.

      We continued our journey northward to the curiously named ‘Gobbins’ area. This is quite a spectacular part of the coastline with numerous coves, caves and headlands. After calling in to the information centre to make sure we found the intended path (attractions are quite poorly signposted here), we again undertook a fairly challenging walk along the cliff top path, enjoying the views both north and south. Again, there was quite a vertical component to the 45 minute round trip.

      From The Gobbins, we tracked inland somewhat for our next feature to tackle - Slemish mountain. I had seen good reviews on Trip Advisor about the views from the top which is why I put it on the itinerary. As it turns out, Slemish mountain is on the itinerary for many Catholics for an annual pilgrimage on St. Patricks Day, as this is where he spent 6 years of his life.
      This extinct volcanic ‘plug’ turned out to be a very steep climb and scramble but yielded the promised views in every direction from the summit. Yet again, the round trip was about an hour up and down a very rough, ill-defined path (which we lost a couple of times).

      I promised Loss that this was our last climb for the day, but I was a little premature in making that promise, as yet another climb was required when we reached Torr Head. By now the day was clearing with bursts of sunshine and after a shorter, sharper climb we were able to clearly see Scotland - the famed Mull of Kintyre across the water, as well as dramatic Irish coastline in front of us. Torr Head and the Mull of Kintyre are the points at which Ireland and Scotland are in closest proximity.

      We had intended to do the entire Torr Head coastal scenic drive, but this was cut short by virtue of roadworks that had closed a section of the road. Nevertheless the section we were able to cover was stunning.

      Enroute to Ballycastle we were held up for about 15 minutes due to a truck that had gone into a roadside ditch and the tow trucks had blocked the road completely. Traffic was backing up in both directions and we weren’t sure whether to turn around and try to find a different route, but eventually the Towtruck driver came over to assure me it was about to clear. Once he heard our Australian accents, then all he wanted to do was talk about Australia. Now the traffic was flowing again, but we were not moving because he wouldn’t stop chatting! Eventually we extricated ourselves from his questions and we continued on our way.
      We had one more item of interest to see before calling it a day - the so called ‘Dark Hedges’ but decided we should check in to our B&B first as it was now around 5.30pm.
      When arriving at the designated house, the host had no booking for us in her system even though my Booking.com reservation all looked to be in order. This was our first real glitch and as I was mentally assessing our options, our ‘host’ (who couldn’t host us) made a phone call to a friend of hers a couple of streets away who DID have a B&B room available.

      Once we got that all sorted, we thought we should organise some dinner arrangements. At our host’s suggestion, we headed down to the ANZAC Bar and restaurant (which even had a little boomerang as part of its logo😅). Of course I had to ask the maître d about the reason for the name. Apparently the founder of the establishment was an Irishman who had fought with the ANZACS at Gallipoli in WW1.

      The meal was substantial and excellent, so fortified with this we headed off for our last bit of sightseeing which was about a 15 minute drive up the hill from Ballycastle. The so called ‘Dark Hedges is an avenue of Beech trees planted in the the 1700’s by a family who wanted a dramatic approach to their Georgian mansion. They are indeed an impressive sight with their branches hanging right out across the road in a very unusual way.
      It is one of the most popular natural-feature tourist attractions in Northern Ireland and as a result during ‘normal’ tourist hours, you must park in a very large carpark and walk some distance to the avenue of trees. However, as it was now 7.30pm and all the ‘normal’ tourists had disappeared long ago, we were able to just slowly drive up and down the road unimpeded, taking the required photos without having to get out of the car at all.

      We got back to our accommodation at around 8pm - exactly 12 hours after we started out this morning. Although the 14km distance walked was not our longest, I think our 115 floors climbed today could be our most so far.
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      Traveler  A beautiful photo!✅💕

      Traveler  We were in Enniskillen in 1985 with a big group, the year John was born while we were in England, just arrived from Egypt and went to the Edinburgh Tattoo in August of that year and I had my birthday in London and I spent the day trolling every floor at Harrods - a great birthday that year!!!! LOL Mum - keep safe and well xx

      Traveler  I mentioned to Garth (our aircraft maintenance mechanic) we were in Belfast- he sent the following email: Enjoy Belfast I was there for 6 weeks during the troubles in the late 70’s buying Shorts 330 aircraft for a company I was working for at the time. There were bombs going off everywhere and the hotel we stayed in “The Europa” had been bombed 18 times in 10 years. Thank goodness things are better now. Bobby Sands a member of the IRA was starving himself to death in Long Kesh (The Maize Prison) and died a little while after we left. Regards Garth

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    • Day 29

      The Causeway Coastal Route

      May 25 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Today turned out to be our most beautiful weather so far in Ireland and we were able to make the most of it. Three days in a row with no rain - the locals are declaring this as some sort of record!

      Our first destination was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge which was first built in 1775 by the salmon fishermen to access the little island off the coast where they lived and caught their fish.
      The original single rope has been replaced and maintained by the National Parks, and you need to book a time for your crossing. I had done this some months ago and booked the first slot of the day at 9am which was great as there were very few others there and no coach loads of tourists had arrived yet. And it was a beautiful, calm morning.
      The coastal scenery was spectacular and the rope bridge crossing was enjoyable - it really gets a bounce up as you walk. However, we did notice that there were a few others who had acrophobia and couldn’t bring themselves to cross the bridge, even though they had paid for it all.
      Next stop along the Coastal Causeway route was Ballintoy Harbour - a beautiful little village set around a tiny harbour. For the first time on this trip we saw significant ocean swells rolling in which were crashing against the basalt rocks in a spectacular way.

      After strolling around the harbour and foreshore area for a while, we headed off a few more km to the west for the Giant’s Causeway which is an amazing, naturally occurring cluster of hexagonal basalt columns formed from the cooling and shrinking lava flows. It is a really unusual natural phenomenon, attracts vast numbers of visitors and has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
      A brisk 10 minute walk from the visitor car park to the actual site on a bright, clear day was great - but the sight of hundreds of other tourists was not so welcome. This is the busiest (natural beauty) place we have visited in Ireland so far.
      We also discovered that it wasn’t necessary to again pay an exorbitant entrance fee and parking through the National Parks visitor centre. The Hotel right next to the visitor centre offered parking for £10, free access to the site AND £10 off any food or drink you ordered on return. To me, that was a ‘no-brainer’ and we certainly availed ourselves of this option.

      Next up were a few interesting viewpoints further along the coast - the Maghearacross lookout; the Portrush and Whiterocks beach (which is the seaside holiday town of this part of Northern Ireland); We drove onto the beach and did a little 4WDing in our 2WD vehicle on the sand; the Gotmore scenic viewpoint - and then a direct drive into Londonderry - (or Derry, depending on your point of view).

      After briefly checking in to our accommodation we headed into town to spend a little while ‘experiencing’ Londonderry. The evidence of the divisive, violent past is everywhere around you and is placarded for all to see. We then did a full circumnavigation of the old city walls (built in the early 1600’s) before heading back to our accommodation via Lidl for some groceries.
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      Traveler  Amazing shape

      Traveler  Loved the rope bridge across to the island!! It didn’t seem to sway very much and it seemed well maintained, just as well!! It is fortunate that you are having good weather. Keep safe and well - lots love Mum xx

      Traveler  A great series of photos. I am pleased that I taught to be such a good photographer!!! Love from us here. D&Mxx

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    • Day 30

      Derry Drive, Belfast Boat, Go2Glasgow

      May 26 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Pretty much just a day of transport and transiting, our goal was to get to Glasgow.

      This entailed a 1.5hr direct drive from Londonderry to Belfast, boarding our slightly delayed ferry back to Cairnryan and then making the 2 hour drive to Glasgow.
      We bid farewell to ‘the land of 40 shades of green’ under blue skies and mild temperatures without having experienced a drop of rain.
      Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite wrangle our way into first class on the very full ferry - business class was the best we could manage this time.

      Having suffered the deprivations of the business class experience onboard, the drive from Cairnryan to Glasgow was quite enjoyable along a fairly scenic coastal route for the first part.

      Some few years ago, we had employed a lovely young Scottish dental assistant by the name of Zoe who had worked for us for 2 years before returning to Scotland with her partner Sean. I had lost contact with Zoe, but with the help of Steph Leckey, we were able to make contact a few days ago and arranged to meet them at their apartment in Glasgow for dinner this evening.

      After driving directly to our rented apartment - of course located on the top floor (again) with no lift - we settled in then headed off to the Southside of Glasgow - about a 12 minute drive away.

      It was delightful to see Zoe and Sean again after not having seen them for such a long time. Sean was cooking up an amazing dinner, Zoe showed us around their apartment which they are part way through renovating (including their roof top space) and we had an excellent meal with lots of conversation stretching late into the evening. They plan to be visiting Sydney in late November for a friend’s wedding in the Blue Mountains and we have made arrangements for them to come and stay with us for a few days either side of that date.
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      Mish Gell  I'm loving following your trip!!

      Traveler  Oh glad you’re enjoying it Mish. It’s always a great adventure with Mark as the tour leader😳…. but never a minute’s rest till you climb into bed for what seems like 10 minutes and then up at the crack of dawn to do it all over again the next day 😱😆 but oh such fun. Sending love to you and Peter xx

      Traveler  Thank you Mish👍

    • Day 24

      Londonderry (or Derry)

      May 26 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      After arriving in Northern Ireland, we travelled through Antrim and Ulster to Londonderry, where we were taken on a tour of the city with a local appropriately named Ronan. He was entertaining and told and showed us the cities history and explained the story behind the conflict of The Troubles between the Irish and the English and how Londonderry (or Derry, depending on whether you are English or Irish, Protestant or Catholic) has moved on since the peace settlement in 1998 with the signing of the Belfast Agreement.Read more

      Traveler  Sure is! Weather still looks good.

      Traveler  Hope it continues.

      Traveler  Brilliant colours.

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    • Day 25

      The Giants Causeway

      May 27 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      This morning, we headed down the Atlantic Ocean coast through Ballysally, Bushmills and Portrush (and the golf course, home of the 2019 Open Championship) and on to the incredible Giants Causeway. Once again, we were blessed with great weather.

      Along the way, we passed the ruins of Dunluce Castle, which was used as Castle Greyjoy, in Game of Thrones.

      The Giants Causeway has to be seen to be believed, but is simply spectacular.

      It was then back to Londondonderry and from there we headed into Ireland, although for the next few days we will criss-cross between the two countries.
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      Traveler  Did you climb to the top of giants causeway?

      Traveler  We just walked around the bottom part. Didn't have time to climb higher unfortunately.

      Traveler  Oh well I've got good photos of it and from memory it was a bit of a hike

      Traveler  Truly awesome photos!

    • Day 41


      October 24, 2021 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Wir trödeln beim Frühstück und halten noch ein zwei Mal auf dem Weg wegen schöner Spots, und kommen dann erst gegen 14 Uhr an, machen aber das beste draus mit Spaziergang zur City Hall, einem kleinen Abstecher zur Einkaufsstraße und dann dem Titanic Museum, das leider schon geschlossen hat, als wir ankommen. Auf dem Weg am Wasser holen wir uns noch eine vegetarische Poutine bei so einem Food-Truck, sehr lecker!
      Es sieht ziemlich nach Regen aus, also laufen wir schnell zurück und flüchten in eine (überdachte😂) Rooftopbar mit toller Aussicht! Danach gehen wir was essen, wie sich rausstellt ins gleiche Restaurant wie Leo und ich damals, ganz in der Nähe unseres damaligen Hostels! Da kommen Erinnerungen hoch - aber noch mehr im The Points, dem Pub, an dem wir drei damals den legendären Abend erlebt haben. Chrissi und ich sitzen fast am selben Tisch, trinken Guiness und reden. Live Musik war heute leider schon um 16Uhr, so schade! Ich hätte Chrissi gerne auch erleben lassen, was wir damals erlebt haben, bin aber froh, dass ich den Laden doch gleich erkennen konnte und jetzt weiß, welcher Pub es ist ☺️
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    • Day 42

      Giant‘s Causeway

      October 25, 2021 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

      Dann ging es noch zum Giants Causeway, eine Formation von Gestein in Form von Sechsecken, so verrückt. Wir laufen den Trail andersherum, kommen noch bis vor an einen abgesperrten Abschnitt und laufen die Stufen runter anstatt hoch, was uns die Leute die hochlaufen hoch anrechnen; mal wieder alles richtig gemacht 🙊 Zum Schluss kommen wir dann zur Attraktion, wo noch viele Leute sind, wir aber dennoch einen guten Platz zum innehalten finden. Einfach verrückt, dass die Natur so etwas erschafft!! Wir machen viele Bilder und genießen die Aussicht, bevor wir wieder hochlaufen zum Auto. Wir fahren nochmal zu einem Drehort; die Kingsroad und treffen einfach welche von der Uni dort 😅 Die Welt ist klein! Zum Glück sind aber auch nicht mehr so viele Leute da, es soll wohl voll der Touri-Magnet sein sonst.
      Der Weg ins Hotel nach Londonderry oder Derry zurück zieht sich, wir wollen noch Mexikanisch in der Stadt essen, es ist aber eine riesige Schlange davor, also holen wir uns Pizza bei Dominos 🤦‍♀️, immerhin Amerika Style: Wir essen einfach im Auto und fahren dann ins Hotel 🚗😅.
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    • Day 2

      Scottish Highlands

      April 9, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Loch Morlich....a walk out of Aviemore..to this freshwater loch in the Badenoch and Strathspey area..one minute sun..the next sleet..but stunning views….and through wonderful pine forests..tomorrow..going higher😚
      ..but..my right boot has split..thats the 5th pair in 4 years that have gone..and they were Salomon..am I doing too much walking😝
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      Traveler  No, you just have a colorful life 💪💪🤗


      Traveler  Ha..yes..and..the boot can be repaired 🙏..its at the cobblers (old English slang name for shoe repairers )..now☺️


    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Northern Ireland, Nordirland, Irlanda del Nord, Irlanda del Norte, Irlande du Nord, Šiaurės Airija, Noord Ierland, Северная Ирландия

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