With the season over and both of us back at home, that now means Ash and I are separated by a sea and living in two different countries. A lot of flights back and forth between England and Northern Ireland have been booked so we can spend as much time together as we can. With Ash living not far from Belfast, this arrangement means I also get to explore a new country and this week so my first visit to Northern Ireland.
After the first night of meeting the family and relaxing, we headed into Belfast on my first full day. A very pretty city with some gorgeous vintage buildings, the city has a lot to see and a lot of history. For my first visit in Belfast, we just stuck to a few basics. With me spending a lot more time there in future, we don’t want to run out of things to do. Our walk from the train station into the city centre took us past the City Hall which is a beautiful building and they were setting up for the Belfast Christmas market which I can’t wait to visit next time I’m over. We headed up to the viewing gallery at Victoria Square for great panoramic views over the city and this was then followed by a hot chocolate stop before just wandering the city and popping into a few shops. A brief but nice little taster to the city and I’m looking forward to exploring it more over the new few months.
The next day, we stayed a bit closer to home and I was introduced to Carrickfergus, the town where Ash lives. We popped out with his family and had a coffee shop stop before having a walk up to Carrickfergus castle. A gorgeous castle which was very picturesque but the day was incredibly cold so we didn’t stick around for long. Later on, we had a drive up to Knockagh Monument which is a touching war memorial to the veterans of Antrim and has breathtaking views across the area, taking in the scenery of the local towns and city of Belfast.
Another trip into Belfast on my last full day, this time to visit Ulster Museum. A lot of the museum, was the same as most other museums with ancient artifacts, creepy taxidermy and war relics but there was a beautiful mineral room with gorgeous, glistening crystals and also a great exhibition about The Troubles. The Troubles is the common name given to the severe conflict in Northern Ireland in the 20th century. I’ve always known about The Troubles but never knew what happened or why and this was a great insight into such a difficult time. Following the museum, we made a brief stop at the Botanical Gardens but at this time of year in freezing old Belfast, there’s not a lot to look at. In the evening, we met up with a couple of Ash’s mates in a nice restaurant called Josh Mac’s in Carrickfergus. The food was great but due to having a KFC not too long before, I was quickly full and didn’t get to enjoy the food to its full extent, nice place though.
The trip was mainly about spending time with Ash and meeting his family but it was a great little introduction to Northern Ireland and I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time there.
All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.
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