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3 Days Northern Tour, Northern Ireland
Rating: (4.7) (3 Votes)

Belfast and Derry
Aug 4, 2004

Pros: Good photo oportunities
Cons: none

Just a quickie.....

02/08/04 - Dublin to Belfast

Headed off from Dublin nice an early in the morning to the North. Did a quick stop at Slane Castle but obviously not as impressive as when I saw the Chilli Peppers and Foo Fighters playing there last year. After Slane we stopped a Drogheda to see some Church (St. Peters Cathedral) to see a guys decapitated head (St Oliver Plunkett) - poor guy not a nice way to go.

From there we were off to Monasterboice to see the highest Celtic crosses in Ireland at Monsterboice - another photo op. Further down the road we stopped at Newry to get the whole border crossing experience as it were years ago and how much hassle people had to go through.

Last stop for the day is Belfast, home of the famous sinking ship "Titanic" (not a piece of history that Belfast really advertises - go figure?!?). Of course most important thing was to get something to eat and then off to check out some pubs - first was an old pub built by some Italians that were in town building cathedrals and did this on the side to get some free booze. Had all these little alcoves that are called "snugs" - you could even ring a bell and a light would light up saying which snug is requesting service....this is all good if they actually used it though. Have to get off your arse and go to the bar unfortunately.

Next pub stop was literally 2 doors down so not far to walk but had some traditional music playing and not too mention a extremely drunk women who was doing what I could only call horse dancing. She was pretty much standing in the one spot lifting one foot at a time and shaking as much as she could, whilst trying to get any guy up to dance - actually I think that she was trying to make her boyfriend jealous but she is all his .....as I am sure that most of the guys in the place were thinking, she kept amused that is for sure.

03/08/04 - Belfast to Derry

First order of the day was a black cab tour of Belfast - very interesting an informative - where they drive you around all the Prodestant and Catholic areas of contention. They explained all the murals and what they meant and all the groups behind them. They also explained that there were 4 main groups Republicans (Catholic extremists), Nationalists (Peaceful Catholics), Unionists (Peaceful Prodestants), and one other that I can't seem to remember - actually I hope that I have got that right. Pretty amazing to think that some people take things so far but I suppose your nationality is who you are. Okay after a bit of seriousness we headed out of Belfast to the Carrick-a-rede Rope bridge and I paid my little fee for the right to walk over - oh very exciting especially when there is a guy in front of you jumping up and down and pushing the railing down but a good photo opportunity. From here it was off to the Gaints Causeway where as we are told that a Gaint stole some other Scottish guy's bird from him and this Scottish guy came across the causeway, that joined the two countries, to knock his block off but the Irish guy knew that he was coming and knew that he was a big boy so he dressed up like a baby. He thought that if the Scottish guy thought that he was his kid then he wouldn't try hurting him. Luckily the Scottish guy fell for it and ran back to Scotland knocking the bridge down on the way. That all aside the causeway was very impressive and another good photo opportunity. Last stop Derry. First port of call in Derry was Weatherspoons of course for cheap drinks and food. But cheap food comes at a price when you are only paying 5.60 pounds - burnt food and the wrong order....oh well. After a few drinks we headed to a local nightclub and for a Tuesday it was pretty happening even though it was Karaokee night. You can have a little too much Kareokee in one night and therefore left soon after.

04/08/04 - Derry to Dublin

Had a quick walking tour around Derry with a local (who happen to be the Mayor's son) - looked at the murals and other points of interest. Back on the bus then heading back to Dublin, on the way we stopped at Omagh for lunch - a sleepy little town. Once back in Dublin it was a quick trip home to drop the bags off and then headed back in town for a few drinks before heading off the next day for the "big" trip - first stop London (for 4 days), then Eastern Europe (9 weeks).....here I come!!