The rough northern parts are quite a contrast to the beautiful western parts. Well, maybe the weather played a role, too: a sunny weekend in September vs. a rainy and cold weekend in November.
Northern Ireland – Rough history, beautiful country
Nevertheless, I liked the North, too. One reason: By crossing the border you are suddenly in the UK. Including red telephone booths and the British Pound.
And a different religion, of course. This was the reason for riots and the civil war-like situation in the 1980s and 1990s. The so called Ulster Conflict is still visible in Belfast: City quarters are separated by walls according to the people’s religion. Catholics (Irish) are on the one side, Protestants (North Irish, i.e. supporters of London) on the other side. Murals (paintings on the walls) are omnipresent and tell of the country’s (often bloody) history.
There were some riots after 1998, but it was safe for tourists ever since to travel the north of the island.
Besides some historic buildings and its Murals, Belfast is the city of the Titanic (it was built here).
The country’s beauties were discovered on a bus tour from Belfast:
Bus tour to the North
Giant’s Causeway was the highlight: According to the legend a giant tried to build a bridge to England. In fact, all of the hexagon and pentagon shaped stones were created by Mother Nature.
Along the wild Antrim Coast we drove to Derry (or Londonderry, as you wish) with its medieval city walls.
As I said, it was a short trip and there’s a lot more to see and do here in Northern Ireland. As the main reason for my stay in Ireland was studying and weekends are and will always be way to short, I had to go back to reality in Dublin and be good boy.
If you’re too lazy or thinking ‘a visit is not worth for the short time’: You are totally wrong. You should get your bums up! Northern Ireland is worth it. Also for a short visit. Absolutely!