For our Ireland leg of the journey we had originally planned on just using public transport to get around to the places we wanted to see but that didn't last long. I came up with the idea to find a tour company, that way they would get us to all the main things, without much hassle and deal with booking places for us to sleep. Also we would get to meet a bunch of people. After searching around for a good tour company we came across Paddywagon Tours. Supposedly they were voted as the most fun tour company so that sounded promising. Also the price was not outrageous and they offered a 6-day all Ireland tour, which is what we really wanted. The tour started at 8 am on a Monday so we decided to arrive a day early to explore Dublin. Now I'm going to break down the tour by days just to make it easier to digest.
Day 1: March 24, Glasgow to Dublin
I was up bright and early in order to catch my flight to Dublin. The flight left at 7 but the airport was about an hour away from our flats. Originally we were going to take a taxi all the way there but one of Becca's flatmates told us there was a bus that went to the airport from the main bus station. That seemed like a way better option since it would be like 10 times cheaper. Becca had already called a cab so we just took that to the bus station so we didn't have to walk all the way there in the wee hours of the morning. We got to the airport with tons of time to spare and flew to Dublin! Once we got there we should have been able to use the free Paddywagon shuttle to the airport but we couldn't find the bus. It was supposed to be big and green with leprechauns on the side but that was no where to be seen. We asked a nice lady at a tourist information desk and she called them up. It turns out that they were using a smaller white bus for the day and instead of making us wait for 2 hours the guy at the hostel told us he would reimburse us for a bus ticket.We made it to the hostel, checked in, got settled, then went for a walk around Dublin. We didn't actually see that much because it was really cold and we had had a very long day already and needed to be up early for the start of the tour the next day. We went to bed pretty early so we could get some much needed rest.
Day 2: March 25, Dublin to Belfast
Today was packed full of some beautiful scenery. We were up early and headed to our first stop Carrick-a-Reede rope bridge. It was a very windy day so Becca and I opted to not cross the bridge. In fact this was the first day it was open to cross in 5 days because of the wind. Instead we just walked along the path to the bridge and back which gave us some beautiful views of the cost and the water. We hopped back on the bus to drive a short ways to our next stop for the day, the one I was most looking forward to: Giant's Causeway. We somehow managed to take the long way down, lots of steps. It was a very pretty walk though. We finally managed to make it to the causeway and noticed that there was a super easy way down.....We took a million pictures of ourselves along the hectogonal basalt rocks. We had fun setting my camera on a timer and found out it would take a series of 10 pictures. Lots of posing was had. After our walk up we got some lunch. Soup and sandwiches were delicious and nice and warm. Then we decided to get some ice cream, even though it was super cold. Mine was honey flavored and it was delicious. After that there was a short pit stop at Dunluce Castle, famous for having the kitchen falling into the sea during a banquet. Then we were headed to Derry, our stop for the night. After getting settled into the hostel we had a walking tour of the city from Simon, who was the owner or operator of the hostel. It was interesting to see the old city walls which were erected by the British after they invaded. We also learned that the Unionists tend to call it Londonderry whereas the Nationalists call it just Derry. The city has a pretty dark history, a lot like Belfast. All of the political turmoil was making Becca and I slightly uncomfortable. It was a nice day except for the fact that the hostel seemed to have no heating. I was absolutely freezing.
|Protestant Nationalist Area|
|Street of Pubs in Derry|