It's All A Bit Irish...

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Rick's Causeway Coast Hostel

Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2nd day in our "Amazing Race" style adventure in Ireland, saw us go right across from West to East of Ireland to arrive at the Archaelogical Sight at the Bend of The Boyne by mid afternoon. The truly amazing thing about this area is that it wasn't "discovered" until the 1960's. Up until then present man had accepted these strange shaped green hills as part of the scenery. Digs are still happening today and the various significant sites have been protected to the degree that you must go on a bus and with an organised tour. Luckily we arrived in time to tour Knowth, and a very informative guide took us through the various stages, of Neolithic Man first building mounds with passage tombs, to there use by early Christians and then onto Medieaval times.

Leaving this site at around 5.00 pm we set a course for the very North of Ireland where we planned to see the famous Giant's Causeway. This was a journey of some 3 to 4 hours but we broke the journey in a specacular and unexpected way. In a little town in Northern Island, we were stopped by Police and told we needed to go around the main street, as being the "marching season" there were bands marching through the town. We chatted with the policeman for a while and he said,

"Look the music is pretty bad, in fact if you go and listen you'll see why we get things thrown at us!" We laughed with him and he said "Ah go on, sneak down this road and park near the main street and you can have a look but don't say I said you could!"  

We did of course - sneak down for a look!

Northern Ireland take their marching bands very seriously. Marching season happens at this time every year and often sparks new violence and unrest between Catholics and Prodestants. We watched the bands march up the street, one after the other, after the other. See our pictures and movie in our photos section! Check out the drummer in the movie. We enjoyed our little break immensely, but now realised we were going to arrive very late into our destination, around 10 pm.. Luckily I had picked up a list of backpackers along the way for Ireland and we rang Rick's Causeway Coast Hostel and secured his last tiny room 3 flights of stairs up, but with toilet and bathroom 1 flight down. It was just perfect for 1 night, cheap, and we slept well despite the noisy drunks next door!

Up very early we set off for the Giant's Causeway and found it to be a real disappointment. I think we have seen rock formations similar to these in many other places in the world, including Australia - it just didn't seem sufficiently unique or even outstanding. There is a part in Scotland too and at one time this area was believed to have been joined to Scotland, however there really was not much visual indication of a causeway. It was bitterly cold as we walked over the rocks and back to the car where we had had to pay a whopping 5 pounds to park. We can tick it off as a site seen but we had held out high hopes for a spectacular sight, especially as it is UNESCO listed, but for us it didn't deliver. It was interesting but to us not spectacular and difficult to see how it has won such significant world recognition.

All that was left in Ireland now to do was set a course back to Knock airport, after our 48 hours "Amazing Race".  We mused along the way about how "Irish" it is that you get no warning that we saw, when you change from Ireland to Northern Ireland or back again. The real clue is that the speed advisorys and distance signs change from kilometres to miles and back again! Suddenly you are all at sea thinking is this miles of kilometres?!  Very Irish.
Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne and Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast are UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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