FINALLY, a day free from work obligations! as much as i like workationing, having to time your explorations to end by early afternoon can really cramp your style, especially with the US switching to Daylight Saving Time earlier than Europe, meaning an additional hour lost. so, a couple months ago i booked myself a full-day tour up to Northern Ireland with the anticipation that i could finally spend the whole day out and about — and it was totally worth it. why did i choose this one over other day trips around Ireland? i’ve always wanted to see the Giant’s Causeway in person — plus Belfast for a reason that will become clear at the end of this post.
at €65 it’s a bit on the pricey side for me, but compared to renting a car, all the background prep work, the white-knuckle driving on the “other” (see how nice i am? not wrong) side of the road, and adding up all the costs once you factor in gas and admission and parking fees — it was a no-brainer. it just required me to wake up at 5:25 in the morning — which was fine because i promptly fell asleep on the bus.
Joe* was our tour guide/bus driver and on the way up he gave us a history of (Northern) Ireland. all i will say is, religion is nothing but trouble. (i’ve come to that conclusion over the past couple of years but that’s not for this blog post.)
*i only mention his name because he sang several Irish songs to us over the course of the day and all i could think about was “Joe Le Taxi” by Vanessa Paradis. VAS-Y JOE!
before heading back to Dublin, you stop in Belfast for an hour. did you know the Titanic was built there? you can see the (still-extant) company’s large shipbuilding cranes, although you don’t have enough time to go to the Titanic Experience museum, which was fine with me. BUT, I DID THIS: “Belfast” in Belfast was one of my location-specific music must-dos, and it brought me such joy to actually do it!
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: listening to "Belfast" in Belfast. You don't know how long I've been waiting for this. (Years) pic.twitter.com/w3Epi5TVoE
— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) March 22, 2014