Today we departed from Belfast around 9AM local time to go on a three-day bus tour around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The trip didn’t get off to a great start as the bus went to the wrong hotel. Once we got on the road we were off to start the day making three stops; Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and the Dark Hedges.
Our tour guide, Connor is a pure Irish man who clearly knows Irish history and compliments that with a lot of local knowledge. John, our bus driver is incredibly skilled at navigating the narrow and windy roads of Ireland. I would highly recommend the Shamrocker Bus Tour to anyone who wants to see what Ireland must offer.
Our first stop to Giant’s causeway was really an awesome time. Upon arrival, they gave you an audio speaker to help you understand what you were walking by. While there we walked about three and a half miles and up about 30 flights of stairs. We then ate lunch at the local pub around the corner and had a great order of fish and chips. The views of the channel and being able to Scotland was very cool.
Our next stop was to Dunluce Castle, a castle that has been around for four hundred years. The MacDonnell family lived there back in the day. An interesting fact about this castle was that the kitchen fell off the cliff into the ocean while they had guests over. It was very cool to see how well a building was built that long ago.
The last stop was at Dark hedges, a place popular to game of thrones fans. The trees there were very cool and history, but sadly many of them have been knocked down due to storms. Tonight, we are going out in the town we are for food and drinks.
The second day of the tour proved to be a very long day after we were on the move from 8AM to 9PM. Last night we went into town to a local pub and sang karaoke all night. They had a great deal on Irish Car bomb’s, so naturally we decided to try them. We started the morning off by going on a five mile walk to the Rope bridge, but it was unfortunately closed. From there we packed our belongings and went to the town of Derry. This was a very cool town with a lot of history and some religious differences. It was very cool to see how tall their churches were, and the wall that was built for defending off intruders. Our next stop was to see the Slieve League, the tallest cliffs in all of Ireland. We went on a four mile walk to the very top, and it was one of the best views I have ever seen.
The media can help promote Irish tourism by advertising to a bigger audience and getting more people to want to come to Ireland. The whole Country is so beautiful and there is so much to see. The tour guides also are very knowledgeable, and knowing their history is very important. Ireland is a hidden gem, and many people do not realize what they are missing out on. I think the tour companies are starting to pick up on this because our guide mentioned that business has picked up in the last couple years. All in all, today was one of my favorite days with the group.