Kari goes to Lincoln, England
The group woke up around 8am and we had seen a Tesco the night before when we had been driving through town so we went there to use the bathroom. We thought we knew where we were heading in order to get to Giant's Causeway but decided to ask someone just to be sure. I jumped out of the car and asked the guy getting into his car right next to us. He walks over to the car and the first thing he said was where are you all from? Guess he picked up on the accent. And then he said "you are lucky that I am a cop. " What did that have to do with anything. Nevertheless he gave us really thorough directions, which included all the roundabout names and such. We wouldn't get lost now. It was pretty easy to navigate all the roundabouts that came in the first five minutes. It was a nice day outside, a little chilly but nice. Out of nowhere it began to snow. And before we knew it, there were giant flakes and the ground and trees were covered. As we continued and drove further the houses and ground had more snow on them. Annette started to freak out, because being from Australia; she had never driven in snow before. But luckily it didn't get icy or anything because it was really warm outside. About 15 minutes went by and we drove out of it. A little while later it was all nice and sunny. Talk about weird. It was only about an hour drive and we were there. It was sunny there, but quite chilly. Giants Causeway is this beautiful scenic area off the northeastern coast of Northern Ireland. It was formed by lava melting thousands of years ago and is made up of about 30,000 columns and such. (see photos, there will be descriptions) and it is a World Heritage Site and other places similar include the Grand Canyon. It is also a National Nature Reserve and a place of Special Scientific Interest. It was a lot of fun to walk around here and take pictures even though we were freezing. I am glad that we got there early so we were able to get pictures without people everywhere. We were the only ones there when we got there and as we were leaving there we people all over the place and we were glad to have gotten good pictures. We were in the gift shop and Annette was talking to this lady who worked there and somehow this place called Carrick-a-Rede came up. It was only a seven mile drive and we thought that being we were already up here that we would drive over to see it. It is a rope bridge stretched 30M above water and it was very pretty. (see photos of both the bridge and scenic view) It was really windy here and not very nice at all weather wise. I am really glad that we stopped there though, because it was absolutely beautiful and we were able to see more of the coastline that we had seen at Giant's Causeway. Gorgeous!!! Then we got back in the car and headed back to Belfast. When we arrived in Belfast it was 3.30 and we knew we wouldn't have a lot of time to sightsee. We found a place to park and after a little walking found tourist information. A lot of things were already closed but we could take a bus tour that started at 4pm and at that point it was 3.45PM. We decided to go for it, but our big obstacle was finding a place to park the car because where we had parked it was only good for an hour and the tour was an hour and a half. So we hurried to the car and found a new parking spot and then went to find the bus. We found the guy who was affiliated with the bus and instead of selling us bus passes told us to take a taxi tour. Because it was the last bus tour and if we wanted to get off and look around there wouldn't be another bus coming. It was good though because the bus was 10pounds for an hour and 10 minutes and the taxi was 9.50pounds for an hour and a half. He called his friend on the phone and walked us to the end of the block where we met a taxi guy. He was a really good guide - personable with a few facts and some interesting history. He was easy to listen to and I loved his accent although it was hard to decifer at times. He even stopped a bunch of times and let us get out and take pictures, which was really cool. It was a great tour and we were able to see a lot of Belfast in a short period of time. The part that I found really interesting was the religion divide between the Catholics and Protestants and the murals and that were on the respective sides of the city. It sounds like it was a very rough time in that city and something that still has not disappeared and will take a long time to heal. I am so glad we took the tour. We decided to head back to Dublin after this so we would already be in town the next morning and ready for the festivities. But first we stopped at Tesco and bought some groceries and also filled up the car with Petrol. It was a little confusing leaving Belfast and we took a few wrong turns but finally got on the right track, but a little ways out the road split and Annette accidentally took the wrong one. It was quite a distance before we got to a place where we could turn off and after making a bunch of wrong turns I figured out where we were and got us on the right track but we stopped at a gas station to be sure and it turns out I was right we were on the right road and the guy gave me directions where to turn to get to the main road that we wanted. Well I think he gave us bad directions because we were not going the right way yet again. Finally we found a road on the map, which took a long way, but we finally got to the N1 and after that it was still quite a drive. I think our drive turned into about 2 and a half hours and its only about an hour and a half to Dublin from Belfast. When we got into Dublin we found a bathroom and because it was already 10.30 there was nothing we could do so we went to find a place to park the car again for the night and went to sleep.