Hello from the Belfast City Airport! We're getting ready to say goodbye to Northern Ireland and hello to England. Belfast was an amazing first stop, and we made so many memories together!
We finished our stay in Belfast with a trip up to the northern coast. Along the way, we saw beautiful glens, breath-taking cliffs, and magnificent highlands. The grazing sheep were a group favorite. We stopped at The Giant's Ring, an ancient stone structure just outside Belfast, and Carrickfergus, an intact castle on the coast. Our next stops were the Giant's Causeway, a beautiful natural basalt formation, and Dunluce Castle, a magnificent ruin on the cliffs of Ireland's coast. These sites all served as inspiration for Lewis's writings, and he visited them multiple times both as a boy and as an adult. Even we felt the enchantment of the history and possibilities of nature and our imaginations. For fun, we swung by the Dark Hedges, a filming site for Game of Thrones!
The rest of our time spent in Belfast involved the cityscape. We saw the brand new C.S. Lewis Square featuring towering sculptures of Narnia characters. We were able to see the lamp post that C.S. Lewis was inspired by on his walks to Campbell College every day—an easily recognizable site both in Belfast and Narnia! Another favorite was Little Lea, Lewis's childhood home where he escaped to the attic to write his first book. His time there is reflected in Digory and Polly's attic adventures. His grandfather's wardrobe provided further inspiration for the Pevensie children.
With our in-depth studies came a day of free exploration where we were able to experience the city first hand. Many of us visited the St. Georges' Market, a local specialty. A group of boys walked the peace wall, a structure dividing Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods. Others choose to hike and/or wander to the limits of the city. We will all remember the day by special souvenirs and trinkets picked up along the way.
We're excited to step into our next new world, the world of Tolkien. As we set off for Birmingham, we continue to read and strengthen the bonds we are creating. Stay tuned for the sights and sounds of England!
Your enthusiastic and adventurous bloggers,
Morgan and Kelli