Giant's Causeway, Carrick Rope Bridge and beyond

Trip Start Jul 01, 2009
Trip End Jul 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Kim and Dave's House

Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Friday, July 10, 2009

I had an early start today. Since Kim had broken her arm, I was on my own for the daytrip. Dave had "ordered" a taxi for me to arrive at 8:30. Well, he was ten minutes early! So, I ran out to the curb with my toothbrush in hand and asked if he would please wait just a few minutes. I had not dried my hair or anything, so I grabbed my stuff and figured I'd deal with it at the Belfast Youth Hostile where the McComb's Tour started. I also had to ask the taxi to stop at the ATM machine on the way in since I had nothing but Euros with me. I am sure he just shook his head at the whole adventure I put him through. Taxis are expensive, 8.50 pounds. Yikes!
The bus trip up and all day was absolutely wonderful! The weather was beautiful and I loved the sites. I also met a crazy American couple from Miami who had just docked from a cruise ship and a woman named Kim, from Canada. So, I felt comfortable and not at all lonely the entire time. We headed up the Antrim Coastal road. Our first stop was for a photo opportunity at Carrickfergus Castle. It was closed but we got to take some pictures from the outside. (I forget the historical significance of this particular castle.) We then headed up to the Carrick-a-rede Ropebridge. This was used by the salmon fishermen to travel across to the island. The photographs in magazines, etc. make the bridge look so much longer and frightening. It really isn't. It is just a short pass over and they limit the number of people who pass on the bridge at one time. What a breathtaking landscape! We then headed out to stop along the way near Dunluce Castle. Once again, it was only for a photo. Bushmill's Distillery was our last stop before heading to the Giant's Causeway. We didn't have time for the tour so we walked into the gift shops and then headed back out. Once at GC we had lunch at their hotel. That's where I met Kim. She was also travelling alone and invited me to join her for lunch (Irish Stew, very good). So, I got to explore GC with Kim after all! The wrong Kim, but Kim nonetheless, Kim. What a jaw dropping sight. It just blows my mind how something like this could form through natural events. (See my photos.) After a good amount of time we boarded the bus and headed back to Belfast. I was back and off the bus by 6:30.
I then needed to find a place to pick up a taxi so that I could get back to Kim's. When I asked the bus driver about it he told me that I shouldn't do that. He told me that the bus would only cost me 1.60 compared to 7 or 8. He also said that if I just walked to the end of the street and turned right, I would run right into the buses and have no problem getting home. I was up for a challenge, so I thought, why not. Once I got to the bus stop I realized that there were different numbered bus stops all along. I looked onto the timetables and drop offs, etc. I couldn't find Kim's street address on any of them. I asked one woman, she had never heard of that street. I asked a man and he told me the stop was either the next one or two down. When I got there I asked a girl and she didn't know, but the man standing beside her told me that I was at the right stop and that I should get off at the last stop on this run. Whew, I thought I had it made, and then I was unsure. When I got on the bus I explained to the driver that I wasn't sure which stop to get off of and asked if he'd let me know when we approached it. He told me he would, but I wasn't certain he'd remember. I was just starting to get a little bit worried when my cell phone rang and Kim was on the other end. She gave me two landmarks to look for and then I knew exactly which stop was mine. I started to stand up and the bus driver nodded his head to let me know that I was correct. He then pointed me up the right street as I left the bus. I was very grateful for all of the helpful people that I met. Dave was walking down the street to meet up with me. (You see, I had arrived after dark and when I left in the morning, I had rushed out and jumped into the taxi, so I never really had time to look at the outside of their house and take in the surroundings. All of the streets in that area look SO much alike.) In then end however, no worries!
We ordered delivery at an Indian place. (My first experience with Indian food.) The nana bread was wonderful and I had a Tikka Chicken dish that had rice and a yellow sauce that had a slight bite to it. It was quite good. After dinner we went over to Dave's sister's house for a few hours. Reality TV is big over here. They are addicted to the UK version of Big Brother! We then headed home around 10:30 as we were all getting tired. Wendy is only the next street over so it was a quick trip back. I was exhausted and headed up to bed at 11:00.
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