I started off my final day in Ireland with a conundrum: I waited at the place where my day tour said the first pick up point would be, in front of a certain Starbucks. There were regular bus stops right at the curb but no “WildRover” tour buses anywhere. However, directly across the street there were four “Irish Day Tours” buses. Now I had seen the WildRover buses and they are clearly marked. Conundrum!!

Ok Conundrum averted. I asked the other buses and got the correct side and went away on my tour bus! Yay!! I love it when a plan comes together!!

We were going to Belfast in the North of Ireland. They use British pounds instead of Euros. I’ll do the amazing new Titanic Exhibit built there. Then we drove to the Giant’s Causeway and thw awesome Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge!!
We had a totally full bus!! And it had wifi!!
We had  a very amusing bus ride to Belfast. Our guide was a short, ginger headed man in an old brown blazer who drone on and on, spewing facts and statistics and barely took a breath after each section of his expansive epic historical recitations. Sure enough, later he admitted he used to be a history professor. He was very nice and organized and truly knowledgeable, but not at all fun to listen to. A shame, really.
I took in the multi-million dollar Titanic Belfast experience. It was quite amazing! With even a multi media cable car “ride” that takes you through the building process of the Titanic. I was truly impressed with the entire exhibit and it really brought the story and the history to life.
We then drove another hour north, viewed three oceans/seas at once off the north coast (Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Irish Sea). We also stopped for a quick photo op of the Dunluce Castle ruins.  I wish we could’ve explored the grounds but it was quite dangerous right on a cliff. It’s the basis for the Pike castle scenes in A Game of Thrones.
Then off to the Giant’s Causeway and instead of following everyone either up or down the 20-30 min walk, I spent my best 2£ and got a return ticket on the shuttle that took me right to the waters edge where this magnificent rock formation sits. By 2pm I was siting on top of an amazing and unique geological rock formations called the Giant’s Causeway eating my lunch. Wow!!!
A side note about our bus seating arrangements… after a momentary mental battle with myself I sucked up my pride and tried to make someone else’s day better. I snagged a nice window seat at the back and as the bus filled up, two girls were the last on and couldn’t sit together. One sat next to me. She didn’t say hello to me at all but complained to the guide right away when he did a head count and asked him to move us so they could sit together. Right in front of me!! He said if she wanted to ask, she could but he wouldn’t do that. We stopped about 20 mins out of town for a snack pick up and I offered to switch. Even though it meant losing my nice window seat. She was very, very grateful and I ended up sitting next to a nice German girl with her two friends behind us. Anyway. I feel good about that choice. In the long scheme I things, what does one window set matter? 🙂
After the amazing Giant’s Causeway, we drove down the coast to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. I just about walked my feet and legs off hiking up a down some cliff paths to go over the bridge to a small rocky island!!! When each step felt like I had to stop, I thought, if I can do this, I can do anything!!!
The rope bridge was a little scary but exhilarating. And the scenery just spectacular! I felt so good after doing such a challenging hike and feat.
So. The tour I was on didn’t get back to Dublin until 8:30pm. That meant I missed my flight over to Glasgow, Scotland. Yikes! However, I had the foresight to book a second flight months ago early in he morning just in case. I was catching another tour that next morning that I did not want to miss!
I sat in a Starbucks with wifi and booked a little hotel right downtown Dublin for a decent price. After a craaaazy walk through downtown, I checked in to the Dublin Citi Hotel, it’s a cute little older hotel but has a noisy bar/club on the main floor. The reception desk was super nice and here were two handsome Scotsmen in full kilts standing around chatting.
The craziness of downtown just happened to be that the city was flooded with Scots because of a huge football (soccer for you North Americans!) match the next day between Ireland and Scotland. The streets were overflowing with girls in right pants or short skirts and men in full kilt dress, some with huge feathers on their heads! Everyone was having fun and yes, drinking their faces off. But there was Garda (police) all about and no one was getting too out of hand. Yet.
My room was fine, a small square with a small bathroom but clean and decorated nicely. The TV and wifi worked and the bed was comfy. The noise was quite loud from the streets and from the party happening below. But I slept for a couple hours and got up super early to catch my morning flight.
A crazy busy day but I saw some amazing sights and made a few of my own personal conquests.
Next will be some great stories from part 2 of my journey I the UK: SCOTLAND!!!