I am SO sorry for the delay in posts – We have been unlucky with WiFi so far which has been a bit of a blessing in disguise. Contiki has set everyone up in some amazing hotels, so amazing that they happened to be fully booked and their WiFi couldn’t handle everyone logging in! Great for them, bad for us!
Although, I have to admit that it felt kind of nice to be disconnected for a while. It really lets you take in the experience which has so far been one of the best in my life!
As you know, I have had my fair share of travelling even before the launch of this blog but I have yet to travel with a group and now I am not sure I could ever travel solo again! The people I have met and connected with over the last few days have been incredible. People have come from all over the world to set out on this road trip through Ireland and everyone seems to have built connections with each other already.
In just two days we managed to cover so much ground! Here’s a quick overview of what we covered:
Day 1 – We traveled through Dublin where we started, touring around the city before heading to the famous Temple Bar district for some drinks in the actual Temple Bar. We had tons of other cool options but we couldn’t go to Dublin and NOT have a drink there!! There was live music being performed by a couple of young guys who could rock De Dennan better than anyone, but once they started singing Zombie by The Cranberries I was ready to leave. Let’s just say that I love that song, and it was NOT their best cover!
Day 2 – We woke up bright and early, had an amazing breakfast courtesy of Contiki and hit the road for Belfast. Some of you may not know this but Belfast has a very troubled history. It was one of the main sites of religious conflict in Northern Ireland and a few years ago we wouldn’t have been able to travel here safely. I’m happy to say that the violence has been over for a while now, but you can still see the areas that were once affected and remembered by the people who suffered during that time. There is still a wall that divides the Protestants and the Catholics in Belfast and although the gates are open now, the walls are still painted (and updated often) with the murals of local artists and people who remember the time and of those who want to see a change. It’s colourful and breathtaking to see because you can literally see what people went through in the words on the wall.
Our tour guide Dee told us the stories of the violence she saw during that time and although the wall represents something to the people, it’s also very sad and she would like to see the young people come together to take it down. She believes that nothing will change until the young people of our generation step up together and make it happen. Words cannot describe how inspired I was by this woman – you just wanted to hug her (I actually did!).
From Belfast we went on to the Giant’s Causeway where you could see the thousands of hexagonal shaped columns that were NATURALLY formed by a volcanic eruption in the past. These columns used to connect Ireland to Scotland but have slowly deteriorated over time. These columns are along the coast of Northern Ireland and are on the base of one of the best views I have seen in a long time. It was one of those places you go where it almost doesn’t seem real until you see it, like something out of the Lord of the Rings. They are very real, but you still don’t really believe it when you are there. If you ever get a chance to see them, make sure you get the audio guide, the story of how they believed they were formed is pretty hilarious – especially when told with an Irish accent!
From Belfast we drove to Londonderry (another walled city) where we stayed for the night. More on Londonderry to come in the next recap!
If you’re interested in looking into the Contiki Ireland tour, I have included a link for you below with a discount code!
Can’t wait to share more with you!!