Ireland: Belfast; Giant Causeway

I have always wanted to see Giant Causeway as shown on the travel brochures that lure me with magnificent pictures of the strange yet beautiful stacked up rocks.

The only way to get there is to join a Giant Causeway tour from Belfast (for us  who don’t drive). So, we decided to spend  a day shopping in Belfast since the £ to € conversion is fairly low (£1 ~ €1.1). Generally, same goods from the same chain cost cheaper in Northern Ireland (NI) compared to Rep. of Ireland.

I stocked up on some toiletries and tried out the food chain that I wouldn’t want to try in Dublin due to exorbitant price. For example, a filled bagel from such a chain cost £3.60 while in Dublin, I saw bagel selling at €5+ from the same chain. An expert toothpaste brand for sensitive teeth cost £2.99 found in B pharmacy chain would cost €4.50+ in southern Ireland. These two are just random examples of the price difference I stumbled upon.

We took bus from Dublin to Belfast where return ticket cost €22 (same price for student or adult). Journey took about 2 1/2 hr or more. The bus will take you straight to city centre (Europa Bus Centre).

The first day, we just roamed around city centre for sight seeing. We tried out Wheel of Belfast (£4 per adult) which lasted for 15 mins (4 revolutions). Pretty sweet though not as big as London Eye.

Wheel of Belfast

Then, we took a 2-hour city tour on an open top double deck bus with Allen Tour (bargained the price from £12 down to £9 per person as we were the last batch, you could try your luck). The tour guide was quite humorous and the trip was pleasant with the sun shining except the unavoidable cold and strong breeze.

Parliament House in Belfast (one of the scenes from city bus tour).

The next day, we embarked on Giant Causeway tour with City Belfast Sightseeing Tour company that started from 9.45am to 6.55 pm (from hotel pick up point to bus station drop off point). Per head is £25 .  The tour guide was a informative with a sense of humour ( I don’t quite get most of the ‘jokes’).

First stop is called Carrickfergus which was one of the important ports in Ireland together with Dublin. This is Carrickfergus castle.

Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge (£4 for entry), about 10 mins ride away from Carrickfergus.

We stopped off at Causeway Hotel for lunch before starting the highlight of the tour to see Giant Causeway.

Guinness Steak Pie
Battered Haddock
Finally, the Giant Causeway on a thankfully sunny day.
Giant Causeway
Giant Causeway

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