Some years ago now, restless and ready for a little adventure, I took a trip over to Northern Ireland, to visit my bestie, Mollie. It’s always tough when someone you are close to moves away, but it turns out that this is part of growing up (*gulp*), and on the plus side, you have a reason to visit somewhere you’ve never been before.
Munich to Belfast
There weren’t any direct flights from Munich to Belfast, so I decided to fly into Dublin and take a train from there, which took about 2 hours. With this in mind I booked an earlier flight, so I could have a few hours wandering around the city, it would have been rude not to, right?! The weather was rubbish, but with the Jameson Distillery at the top of my to do list, that didn’t bother me (more on this place in a later post, I think).
With the sun shining for us the next morning we headed out on a beautiful drive along the coast and through the countryside to Giant’s Causeway, a stunning collection of basalt columns that reach out into the sea, and are surrounded by the legend of the Giant who is said to have created them.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
On the way to the Causeway we stopped off at another popular tourist destination – the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which offers stunning views, and a short but terrifying walk across a hanging bridge above the waves. Apparently the bridge only had a handrail on one side back in the day when it was used by fisherman who would need to get to the island in search of salmon. They were clearly mental.
Guinness & Christmas Markets
The following day involved shopping (I’m yet to find a replacement for Debenhams in my German life), and an attempt to visit the Belfast Christmas Market at City Hall, which came to an abrupt halt when we realised that the queue to get into the grounds of City Hall reached around 2 whole sides of the building. We promptly decided to drink a Guinness in the pub, go up to the viewing platform in the shopping centre, and then for a hot chocolate with baileys, instead.
The pub we went to was called The Crown, and being situated opposite ‘Belfast’s most bombed hotel’, it has seen its fair share of disorder. Many of the tables inside the bar are found within small cabins, which adds to the experience. Although the troubles are nothing like they used to be, we did see cars being searched several times, something Mollie told me was an every day occurrence.
Following a long awaited roast (which was immense) on my final day, we popped down to the Christmas Market (it was a Monday and therefore much quieter) and wandered through the stalls and into City Hall for the beautiful Christmas tree inside.
I had an absolutely fabulous time in Belfast, and look forward to returning soon. The Bushmills distillery isn’t far from the city, and we didn’t get down to the docks this time, so there’s still plenty to see the next time (…just causally inviting myself there).
Thank you very much for having me, Mol, I’m really proud of you for making the move, and am so very happy you’re enjoying it over there. Hopefully I’ll be back for another visit soon! ❤