Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Northern Ireland

Now that I'm back to my regular Maryland college life, I've been reflecting on my trips abroad. I experienced so much, but forgot to share most of it. I did a lot of traveling with Student Tours Ireland. First to the Ring of Kerry in October and then again at the end of November to Northern Ireland. Basically, the trips were fantastic because they were run by just a few guys from the college. They rented a bus and booked us hostels at a great price. If you wind up studying abroad at all find something like this to travel with.

The bus driver on the Northern Ireland trip acted as a tour guide as we drove around. As soon as we crossed the border the "tension" in Northern Ireland could not be ignored. It's generally been thought of as a Catholic vs. Protestant battle, but it's mainly about borders and territory. It just so happens that religion lined up with border lines.

Belfast is known for building the Titanic and these two giant yellow cranes used to hold the ship. They are named Sampson and Goliath, and were compared by the boat tour guy as monuments similar to the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I'm not sure if I agree or if I would have been proud to have built such an infamous ship. But then again I was reminded that they built a ship, it was the captain that sunk it when he hit the iceberg full speed.

There was also the Titanic Studios set in the same location where the Titanic was built. For now some of the Game of Thrones scenes of Northern Ireland are filmed here. That's pretty neat.

While up in Northern Ireland I got to visit Carrick-a-rede bridge as well as Giant's Causeway. Those adventures are soon to follow so stay tuned.


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