The Shamrocker Bus Tour (Day 1 & 2) – By Alex Martinez

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The Shamrocker bus tour was full of amazing sights and offered interesting information along the way. The bus made its first stop at The Giant’s Causeway, which is an epic trail surrounded by rocks, cliffs, and open water. The second stop was at the Dunluce Castle. The castle is in ruins and walking through such an historic destination made me wonder what life was like there years ago. I wish I could see a side by side pictures of the castle from the moment it was created up until now, so that I can really get an understanding for what it experienced. The last destination was the Dark Hedges, which is a long road with trees hovering over both sides. The trees make the road look haunting and mysterious. All three of these places are well known around Ireland and I’ve personally never heard of them prior to this.

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These famous landmarks are linked to the filming of the television series, The Game of Thrones. The Dark Hedges location was the actual location used while filming the Kings road throughout the seasons. Due to the show being such a phenomenon, these beautiful locations have probably made it on to every fans bucket list. But to the natives here, these places were always loved. Media made these destinations more popular.

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Game of Thrones

By the end of the day’s tour, the bus parked itself at the Sheep Island View Hostel in the town of Ballintoy. So far it seems like this town is not media-friendly. The Internet is non-existent in this hostel and my phone is getting no service. This makes me wonder if most of the places around here have no Internet. Do natives in this town own cellphone? This makes me further wonder about how information spreads over here other than the use of television and landlines.

Hostel Life
Hostel life.

Day two offered more towns to explore and even adventures across the border into the Republic of Ireland. For the most part, things look similar here compared to Northern Ireland. Although I have seen more sheep and the use of Euros is new, things still feel similar (as of right now). Hostel number two is a little better than the first. After experiencing two hostels now, I can finally say that the advertisement of them is way better than the physical experience. On social media apps like Tumblr and Instagram, hostels seem more hipster and trendy, but in reality they seem to be more of a hassle in some cases.

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