Giant Causeway & Belfast


7.5 A Windy Weekend Getaway

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Familiar streets, houses and sculptured coastline made it felt almost like England. The stronger and bone-chilling wind actually made England much more tolerable in comparison. An easy and economical weekend getaway!

Giant Causeway

Legend had it that the giant kings of Ireland and Scotland were at war, until one day they had finally got bored with melees of words. They started howling giant stones to build a bridge, so they could actually decide who is stronger through a face to face fight. The giant columns are the remains of the bridge today. A much less novel narration was that these hexagons are results of a quick cooling lava. The columns are perfectly shaped and neatly aligned with each other. Some of them stood tall near the cliff and some paved far into the sea – rather convincing to be of alien or mythic origin.

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A little east to the Giant Causeway is Carrick a Rede. It has got a very scenic coast trail which leads to a small island off the shore. The island is connected through a hanging bridge. Peeking through the wooden planks which made the bridge, visitors can see wild waves rush to beat the small gaps formed between the island and the coastline. It is a rather long queue to reach the bridge, and to be honest, I don’t think it is worth the ticket. The trail leading to the bridge is absolutely stunning, almost tropical island like – less the golden beach, plus the chilling wind.

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If you are a big fan of Game of Throne, there is a famous site nearby – Dark Hedges, a site frequently featured in the show. It is quite impressive to see two lines of white beech trees naturally formed an arch over the driveway. But still need a good stretch of imagination to match the scene in the show, no? This is where I pay HBO for the camera gimmick and special effect.

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Belfast

It felt like any other smaller towns in UK. A circular hiking route on top of a nearby hill offered a fantastic panoramic view of the sea and city.

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Titanic museum and Ulster museum were good stop by places too. Ulster Museum offered a rich Irish history, in particular the brutal war that eventually made Northern Ireland part of UK. Titanic Museum showcased interesting archives related to this world famous ship: how the ship was built from every bolt and nut and how lavishly decorated each room was.

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Whether you enjoy a bit of culture, history or nature, this trip will offer a good mix of everything. Pick up your warm clothes and leave wind-prone headache at home, you are good to go.

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