I am going to start this post by saying that I did NOT give Ireland enough time! We were really only there for 4 days with a home base of Dublin, and I have full intention of going back to Ireland and giving its’ beauty the time it deserves!
If you haven’t seen my Dublin Photo Diary blog post, you can check it out now by (clicking here)
Let’s start out exploring the little snippets of Ireland we did see and fall in love with by checking out my travel video below. I’ve really enjoyed complying these together as a memory to our adventures.
Since we had such a short amount of time in Ireland, we did a couple tours. First, we did the free Dublin walking tour from New Sandemans (surprise, surprise). We had two day trips booked, one to the Cliffs of Moher (which everyone needs to go) and the other to the Giant’s Causeway. WELL, jet-lag and sleep deprivation made us sleep through our alarm for the Giant’s Causeway tour and instead hoped on a train ride up to explore some of Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Before we hop over to Belfast, let’s talk about Paddy Wagon tours. They were the tour company we booked with to visit the Cliffs and The Giant’s Causeway. On our trip to the Cliffs, our driver was absolutely hilarious and made the entire trip. He gave fantastic reccomendations of meals at little restaurants in small Irish towns we would stop in. I would definitely book another tour with Paddy Wagon, though my next adventure to Ireland I think will be more rugged with renting a car and driving. But we’ll see!
On the morning where we were supposed to go to the Giant’s Causeway, as you know we slept through our alarm! But we finally woke up feeling awake and refreshed, so you take some and lose some! I felt terrible that we missed the tour, so I suggested we take a train up to Belfast. Nick was super reluctant but I’m extremely stubborn, about 3 hours later we were wandering around Belfast. We walked along the river and went into the Titanic Belfast and learned about the building of the infamous Titanic. A great museum, but I wouldn’t pay to see it again. Once we were done, we looked outside to see it was pouring rain. I had an idea! I had always been recommended to do a Black Taxi Tour if I ever went to Belfast. I wandered over to the Guest Services desk and asked how do I get information for a Black Taxi Tour? And the guy says to me, “I’ll call one for you, he will come out front”. Sweet!
DO THE TOUR.
Our guide- I can’t remember his name now unfortunately – was unbelievable. He had been apart of the civil unrest between the Protestants vs Catholics. We even got to sign the peace wall that still stands today and closes at 9 pm.
If you’ve never heard about the whole conflict and battle between the IRA (Catholics) and UDA (Protestants), it’s quite an intense part of history for Northern Ireland.
The IRA (Irish Republican Army) had the goal to end the British rule of Northern Ireland and re-unify with Ireland. They believed that they belonged to Ireland.
You can learn about them more by going here: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Irish-Republican-Army.
The UDA (Ulster Defence Association) believed and wanted the opposite. They were a loyalist organization founded to coordinate the efforts of local Protestant vigilante groups in the conflict.
You can learn more about them here:
But for real, the tour is worth every penny. When it was over, our driver and guide even dropped us off right at the train station!
I truly can’t wait to go back to Ireland one day and explore it once again, and give it the respect that it deserves. I want to rent a car and drive along the incredibly beautiful coast. I love the infinite sea of green. Ireland, I will be back.