Monday, November 30, 2009


me at the Christmas Market

Amy at the Christmas Market

Friday: Amy and I got up really early so we could catch a train to Gatwick Airport where we got on our EasyJet flight to Belfast. We got into the city around 10:30, took a trip to the Visitor’s Centre to buy tickets for touring and then decided it was lunch time. Conveniently, right down the street from the Visitor’s Centre was an outdoor Christmas market which had all sorts of delicious food, drinks and gifts. It quickly became our new favorite spot. After checking out all the Christmas sights and getting lunch, we headed toward the Hop-on Hop-off bus for a tour of Belfast. Even though it was really cold we decided to sit on the open top of the double-decker bus. We passed by the docks where the Titantic was built and stopped at another little market where I bought a new hat. Then we waited and waited for the next bus and when one finally did come, it did not respond to my flagging it down. It was a little upsetting but we wandered back toward the city centre and found a really nice mall with a great view of the city. We decided to catch the bus at the next stop, so after we toured St. Ann’s Cathedral, we waited another good while for the next bus. Amy and I had a good time taking pictures of each other jumping in the courtyard outside the church while we waited though. By this time it was getting dark, so we rode the bus (on the top again) for the rest of the tour of the city, saw the Peace Wall and some of the famous wall murals. After the tour, we found a cute pizza place for dinner and then walked though the Christmas market again for desert before going to find our hostel. We still had some time so we walked around another nearby mall and then crashed early in our frigid hostel room.
Amy and I by the rope bridge

Saturday: Peter, our Northern Irish friend who lives on the same hall as Amy and I, had suggested that we see the Causeway, so we hopped on a bus tour on Saturday to take us there. We got on the coach bus early Saturday morning with a bunch of other tourists, and then we took a tour along the Irish coast which was gorgeous. By this time Amy and I had learned to layer and layer and layer our clothing so the freezing weather wasn’t as bad. We stopped for a short photo-op at Carrickfergus Castle and then drove up along the coastal road to Carrick-a-rede Ropebridge. Amy and I were daring enough to cross the 80-foot high bridge that spanned two cliffs across the ocean. Then it was back on the bus to the Giant’s Causeway (Ireland’s only world heritage site). I was a little grumpy at this point because I hadn’t had lunch yet and it was 2:30 so Amy and I snagged a snack in the gift shop and then walked down the road to the Causeway. We took all sorts of pictures (including more jumping pictures) on the ancient stones and then it was back on the bus for a short trip down the road to Old Bushmill’s Distillery. We sampled the Irish whiskey but I was a bigger fan of the whiskey cake we ate. Then one more photo stop at Dunluce Castle before I feel asleep for the rest of the ride back into Belfast. Amy and I had wanted to have dinner at an Irish pub but they were too crowded on a Saturday night so we went to TGI Fridays instead. Probably the best decision ever- we were really excited about the American food. We then headed back to the Christmas market, walked around for a bit, and then rode the giant tour wheel that showed up a night-time sky view of the city. Then we turned in for another early night. Giant's Causeway
Sunday: We got up, stopped at a coffee place for breakfast (no free breakfast in this hostel) and then attempted to catch the bus back to the airport. Unfortunately, no one had told us where to catch the bus, so we ended up missing it by seconds. Instead of risking not making our flight, we took a cap to the airport and successfully made it back to Gatwick and then back to campus. Sunday afternoon I did laundry and then Sunday night it was back to real school world so I did homework all night.

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