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Journals from Ireland, National University of Ireland in Galway

2011-03-01 Belfast, Giants Causeway, and Beyond


28 February 2011

Since my last entry a few Linfielders and I ventured with the International Student Society (ISS) to Northern Ireland.  We spent the weekend in Belfast, Derry, and touring Giants Causeway.  It was a wonderful trip with beautiful scenery.  AND the great part was that it was relatively inexpensive.

Belfast:  A really neat city with a lot of history.  We arrived and had some free time to walk around, so we went to the Belfast Cathedral.  What makes it so interesting is that the stone used to build the church comes from every county in Ireland.  Later that day the ISS chartered bus tour  took us to the site where the Titanic left from and the walls that once divided the city from the Catholics and Protestants during the Troubles.  The walls now have murals on them, making it really interesting – definitely my favorite part about Belfast!

Giants Causeway:  Absolutely indescribable scenery.  Giants Causeway is a natural land formation that occurred along the coast.  When we walked down to it, I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than lava rock in a hexagonal shape.  As it turned out the Causeway was breathtaking and for me the highlight of the trip.

Derry:  Charming town, but not a whole lot to do.  We arrived in the early evening when everything was closed for the night, so there wasn’t much going on.  In the morning we took a walking tour of the city, which gave more insight into the history of the city.  I’m not sure that it is a place I would go back to, but its location was convenient for the next leg of the trip.

Yeats Grave:  Located just outside of Sligo at a small church.  We were only there for about 20 minutes, which was perfect to have a look around and take a picture of the grave.

We got back just in time to kick off RAG week, which stands for Raise and Give.  Throughout the week there are several events occurring on campus that raise money for charity.  Someone mentioned it being very similar to Greek week at Linfield only with a lot more enthusiasm, which I think is an appropriate description.  There are so many people celebrating both on campus and around the student housing where we live.  It is exciting and very chaotic at the same time – nothing like I’ve ever experienced before! 



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