Blown away by Belfast

Luther's Nottingham Program, which will be in its 46th year in 2017-2018, offers the rich opportunity to spend an academic year in England and study at the University of Nottingham. During this program, students live together, take courses together, and participate in a community service project of their choosing. To learn more about the program, visit the Nottingham Year website.

Aye up me ducks! Libby here!

Just recently I went on a weekend away to Belfast, Northern Ireland. During my trip I visited The Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and areas of the Troubles!

I traveled with Karl again on this trip, and our first stop there was a Paddy Wagon Tour (10/10 would recommend for a cheesy good time!). Our tour took us to the coast of Northern Ireland. The first stop was The Dark Hedges — it was just recently made famous by good ole Game of Thrones! The scenes going into Winterfell were filmed there. We only made a quick 20-minute stop before moving along.

After that we went to the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge. It's a suspension bridge that connects two small islands! Unfortunately, the weather was pretty rough and windy so we could not cross over the bridge. However, the National Trust members knew how much people wanted the signature photo with the bridge, so they let us stand at the very front of the bridge for a quick picture!

The next stop on the trip was a nice little pub at a place where the Game of Thrones cast ate lunch after a long day of shooting! Karl and I tried a steak & Guinness pie and we met some fellow Americans and a guy from South Africa! The food was good and they even had a mini Game of Thrones room! After we finished lunch, we moved along to the big part of the trip: Giant’s Causeway! This place has a lot of folklore surrounding it, generally along the lines of two giants fighting and creating the Causeway in the process. This spot was absolutely beautiful! Karl and I walked up and down the shores and up the mountain a little bit. Soon enough though, our time was up and we had to be on our way. We just made a quick stop at Dunluce Castle to see the outside of the ruins and take a few pictures before heading back towards Belfast.

When we arrived back in Belfast, Karl and I went out for dinner at the Crown Bar, which is a National Trust site and quite beautiful. We were also adopted by a couple of British soldiers stationed in the area at the pub. They bought us a couple of rounds of beer and cider and we had some great conversations throughout the night. All in all, it was a great first day in Belfast!

The next morning we set out for a more political day in Belfast, since we both study political science. We wanted to learn a bit more about the Troubles between the Catholics and Protestants. We began the day with a black cab tour by a Catholic (who was from a republican family, though not republican in the way Americans use it). He showed us the peace walls, explained a bit about the culture and history surrounding it, and then he showed us around a few memorial gardens. He suggested for us to go to a prison tour in Belfast, which was actually a pretty neat tour. We got to go through tunnels, visit some cells, and visit the court yard. After our time at the prisons, we heading back into town where we wandered for a bit and then finally headed towards the airport to head back home!

Belfast definitely makes it into my top five locations that I visited; I hope to make it back again sometime in the near future.

Stay tuned for some posts about Kelli's and my spring break!

Cheers!

Libby

The Dark Hedges! Where they filmed part of Game of Thrones
Coastline of Northern Ireland.
Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
Game of Thrones chair at the pub!
Giant's Causeway - the giant's boot!
One of the Peace Walls of Belfast