Outskirts and Northern Ireland

So, what to do in Ireland when you are not studying or hanging in a pub? Exactly: wait for rain, snowfall or hail, take your broken shoes, add a dollop of reckless Erasmus lads, and go hiking. Oh, and don’t forget your traditional Irish tin whistle for the perfect soundtrack to your well planned adventure. If you are lucky one of you has even thought about bringing a self-drawn map for the low battery emergency.

Yes, in the last few weeks I went on several hiking trips. It started with a small trip to Bray which is reachable with the city busses and located at the coast in the south of Dublin. We hiked up to the Bray Head which is a nice lookout and even accesible for the common promenader.

A little bit further north, but still reachable by the city bus, one can make a slightly more advanced hiking trip to the Sugar Loaf. Descending along the river isn’t the best idea though. Maybe we started our adventure on the wrong side of the mountain,since even our self-drawn map couldn’t point out a decent path.

A different kind of adventure was going to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway last weekend. Everything began with the idea of visiting a friend in Bushmills. I had no idea that it isn’t just a boring village with vast amount of sheep. The Giant’s Causeway is located right next to Bushmills and attracts a lot of tourists.
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The next village, Portrush, is a lively fishing village with some cosy typical Irish pubs. Between Bushmills and Portrush I found the first castle ruin. It is a beautiful place and definitely worth the admission fee.

We also went to a rope bridge, but paying the fee for the bridge was a huge rip-off. The bridge is not really special and one can also enjoy the spectacular cliffs without paying the fee.

Moreover, I stayed in Belfast for two nights. I expected it to be a little bit like Dublin, but it is nothing like that. It is way more industrial and has a completely different character. I needed some time until I decided to like the city. I got to see the West Belfast Murals and discovered a really cool typical Irish pub called the “Dirty Onion”.

I would say it has been the most interesting and scenic part of my Ireland adventure so far. I would highly recommend to explore the north coast as well as Belfast.

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