This past weekend, my friends Rose, Ally, Julia, Alex, and I, traveled to Belfast, Ireland! Belfast is in Northern Ireland, which is technically part of the United Kingdom. Theres a lot of drama right now with Brexit and the UK planning to leave the EU. A lot of people, especially in the Republic of Ireland, are worried that there's going to be a hard boarder in place between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Even though Northern Ireland is technically a different country, there is no boarder right now. We took a train early Saturday morning. Seeing the countryside of Ireland was beautiful. There were so many sheep I was pumped.
Right when we got to Belfast we got on a black taxi tour. You'll notice from my pictures that our taxi is white. The "black taxi" comes from a phrase because the taxis came from London and when they came over, they were all black.
Our taxi driver was named Patty and he lived during the time of the Troubles. The troubles were a civil war in Northern Ireland between the Catholics and the Protestants. He told us that his brother was killed by a bomb at the beginning of the troubles. He also told us that his wife really wanted a daughter but instead she had five sons — God bless her. Now she has four granddaughters that she spoils. On our tour, Patty drove us through Belfast. He showed us the mural wall that is all protest art. We were on the Catholic side.
Patty showed us the "peace wall" which is this 15-20ft wall with barbed wire that still separates the Catholic and Protestant side. There are a few entry points between the two sides and they only are open a few times a day and close every night. The one place where the wall isn't built is a clothing mill where women from the two sides would work and be friends. Today, there are still schools on each side and there is not a lot of interaction between the two. The walls are covered with graffiti and protest art and Patty was saying he hopes the walls are down by the 2030s. However, because of Brexit, he thinks the walls will be up for much longer.
We stopped at this one memorial site on a street that was heavily bombed. Many people still live on the street and in their backyards they have barricades still up just incase a bomb comes over the wall — crazy. Patty took us to the Protestant side and it was a bit eerie.
After the tour we went to the Titanic museum but we got there a few minutes late and the museum was no longer selling tickets. Even though we were not able to see the museum, we were able to walk around the outside and see the ship that rescued people from the Titanic.
After that, we walked to this super cool restaurant called Havana and our waiter was awesome.
At night, Alex, Rose, Ally, Julia, and I played pictionary while watching planet earth and we had so much fun together. Then we went to a local pub — it was super small but there was this guy playing live music and he was good.
The next day we did Giant's Causeway and it was so beautiful. There were these big hills/ cliffs in addition to the causeway. They are these hexagonal rocks that fit together like a puzzle. Halfway through our walk it started pouring so we walked back to the museum and headed to this little cafe called the nook. We had some yummy lunch and tried to get warm. We were there so long that some of us dozed off lol.
Before we left we checked out the museum and looked at the cliffs. I sat right at the end and just listened to the water.
After that we hopped onto a bus and it took a while for us to make it back but we finally did!!
Made it back to Dublin and I was beat! Ireland trip #2 was a success!!