Here Comes the Sun
Trip Start Nov 29, 2005
79Trip End Nov 21, 2006
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Fortunately, though, we were treated to the best weather of the trip -- more sunny and pristine than any of us could have ever mentioned for the north coast of Ireland in mid-October. We enjoyed the coastal drives and made a couple stops as we took the scenic route toward our ultimate destination -- the Giants Causeway. We first stopped at some old temple-y thing out on a nice green pasture with lots of sheep and then at a castle that sat right next to the sea. The castle stop included an illicit climb through a cave.
Shortly before lunchtime we finally found the Causeway, which was much more of an ordeal than we expected it would or it should have been. Considering it's the single biggest attraction in the region, we just assumed it would be abundantly easy to find the place. We also thought they would've covered their bases a little better, but they made it exceptionally easy to skip paying the 5 quid parking fee by parking for free in the restaurant lot right next to the pay lot. There's a long loop walk you can take up to the Giants Causeway and we learned fairly quickly that we did the loop in the opposite direction of what most people do
Eventually we made it down to sea level and over to the actual Causeway. It wasn't necessarily as impressive as it had been made out to be, but it's still pretty cool nonetheless. The Giants Causeway is a series of cylindrical rocks of varying height that form their own patterns and little hills that lead out to sea. This also happened to be Adrian's turn to share the legend, and what we learned is that Adrian is a sick, depraved little boy. But that's why we love him.
We really didn't have any other stops after the Giants Causeway (there turned out to be a really cool rope bridge that we skipped because our map that highlighted the 'cool' stuff and overhyped it had made the bridge sound less than impressive) so we meandered along the coast while trying to figure out our plan for the night. We tried to salvage the previous night's goal of finding a campsite in a small town. But once again we came to the realization that all the campsites on the island were shut for the season. There was a 'hostel' in the town but it appeared to be a branch of the Irish equivalent of the boy scouts, so we didn't trust it one bit and went to our fall back plan, which was spending the night in Belfast
We pulled into Belfast around 8 and got to see most of the city as we drove around looking for a hostel. It looked like a nice city as we wound up and down the one-way streets but we never got to see the famous murals that were erected throughout the conflict that rocked the area. We settled on the soulless, clinical Hosteling International hostel because it was close to the Golden Mile and had a parking lot. The Golden Mile is the nightlife district of Belfast and if this was more than likely my last night out with Adrian (we were going our separate ways but there were rumors of a spur of the moment side trip to Morocco -- but that would require using my Dublin to Glasgow flight, skipping Scotland and going straight to London to fly down there and getting back in time to meet up with my parents who were arriving in a week and a half, in other words it wasn't very likely), we were going to make it count. We stopped at a place with a crazy Medieval theme because they had huge comfy throne-like chairs to relax in while we drank our pints and listened to the same old cliched Top 40 crap.
But after a little while The Untouchables came on to perform their set, and in a word, they were awesome