Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Belfast & the North

I did not really know what to expect upon leaving UCD with the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) club for a weekend trip up to Northern Ireland to kick off October.  There is a well known history of conflict between nationalist (mostly Catholic) and unionist (mostly Protestant) groups in the North, particularly in Belfast, and I was unsure as to the extent of the tension today.  I am happy to say that I really enjoyed my visit, and it was a trip where I felt quite comfortably safe.  I would actually very much recommend visiting Belfast and taking one of the famous Black Taxi Tours, as they provide an interesting and insightful view into the history of the area's past conflicts.  

An additional, very cool fact regarding Belfast's history is that it is the city where the Titanic was built.  There is a great museum that details the history of the ship from conception to sinking and I am happy to say I managed to fit it into my trip as well. Northern Ireland as a whole also has a few fantastic natural attractions.  Our group stopped at Giant's Causeway, as well as the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, both of which were awesome visits (I will say, the good weather absolutely helped us out though).  I took a lot of pictures on this trip - some of my favorite ones since arriving here are below!

The Crown
A beautiful day for fishing

 Views from the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge:

Giants Causeway:
Maybe my favorite picture of the entire trip thus far...simply amazing

Black Taxi Tour:

Titanic Museum:
One of my favorite items in the museum (see below)

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