Without political commentary, the facts are these: The island of Ireland is divided into two separate countries. The Republic of Ireland occupies all but the Northeast corner of the island, and is what most people imagine when they think the words "Ireland" and "Irish." The Northeast corner of the island is the country of Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. The two countries are currently at peace, but there is an international border between the two, and they do not share government or currency.
The easiest way to explore the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland is to rent a car in Belfast and drive, because the area is rural and a bit remote. Public transport can be tricky. We planned our trip to leave Dublin in the afternoon on a Bus Eireann bus to Belfast, spend a night, and take a car out of Belfast in the morning.
|Vagabonds Hostel Belfast|
After getting some "Queeny Money," we got to the hostel and checked in. We were staying in the group room, so we dropped off our bags, looked around, and took to the streets. The sights of Belfast are much more spread out than those of Dublin, so even though we were near the City Centre, it wouldn't have been easy or cheap for us to see everything. We decided the easiest sight to see given our timeframe, budget, and weather would be the famous Belfast City Hall.
|Belfast City Hall|
Belfast is also famous for its ship-building. Large portions of Titanic were designed and built in the shipyards in Belfast (even though the ship said Liverpool on the rear, another chance for the English to snub the Irish?!) and the city takes pride in that history. A recent monument was built to honor the builders, passengers, and stories of Titanic in the City Hall garden.
|Titanic Memorial Statue|
|Names of the deceased|
|Closeup of the names of the deceased|
|Spaghetti, cheese, crackers, and wine|