In this week’s edition of #FailteFridays, we have Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. My classmates and I took a weekend excursion up to Belfast to check out a few tourist and historical sites such as Game of Thrones filming sites, the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Bushmill Distillery, Titanic Museum, and the famous Giant’s Causeway.
We started the trip with a bus tour along the Northern Irish coast, stopping along the way to see spots where a few episodes of the popular series, Game of Thrones, were filmed. For any of my GOT fans, this is known as Westeros. It was here that storm Gertrude hit and knocked down two massive trees, which were then used to carve out 10 doors for the 10 episodes of season 6. We were able to visit two of the doors, one from Fiddler’s Green and the other from Ballycastle. These pictures below were the doors that were built in tribute of the Game of Thrones 6th season.
After this, we stopped at the Bushmill Distillery which is the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. It dates back to 1608 when it was officially given a license but has historical records from the 14th century. There is an hour-long tour for €9 which I would highly recommend doing. The tour took us through their only working distillery which smelled of banana bread (it was quite nice). We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but they taught us the entire process of creating, fermentation, distillation, and aging. At the end, we were given their 12-year single malt distillery special which is only sold onsite. I can still say I’m not a big fan of whiskey but to each their own.
Next up on the trip was the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge. This bridge was constructed so that fishermen could check on their salmon nets without having to worry about the rough waves smashing their boats against the rocks. The fisherman caught so much salmon that after a few years, there was nothing left. Now it’s used as a tourist attraction for people who want to cross a bridge that swings 100ft above sea level to reach the beautiful island of Carrick-a-Rede. If you do walk across, just know that you’re walking over the mouth of an ancient volcano. If there’s no passersby, look down and check out the dark rock forming a wide, vertical pillar which is basalt. This is cooled lava that erupted over 60 million years ago.
Our last stop was to the famous Giant’s Causeway. The clearly scientific explanation goes that a Scottish giant known as Benandonner was threatening Ireland. Finn McCool was outraged and tore out great chunks of Antrim coastline to build a bridge to reach the giant. When Finn saw the giant, he cowered in fear as Benandonner was 10x the size of little ol’ Finn. He ran back home and had his wife disguise him as a baby. When Benandonner came crashing in, he saw the man-sized baby and thought if the child was that big, the father would be bigger than him. The giant ran home, destroying the bridge between the two and never returned. The “myth” that they tell the tourists is that the rocks were the aftermath of volcanic crashing and cooling by the waves. To this day, there are over 40,000 basalt columns in the shape of hexagon rocks, stacked perfectly onto each other. Giant’s Causeway is an absolute must see if you’re traveling to Belfast for any occasion. The pictures below were taken from the Giant’s Causeway. There are over 40,000 hexagon shaped rocks that were formed from a volcano.
Our excursion to Belfast certainly was a jolly green good ol’ time. Until next time for #FailteFridays, have a good one!! – Mason Lipford