I have come to Belfast primarily to visit my old friend Danny, who I knew when I lived in the UK in the early 2000’s. We used to go to music events all over the country with other like-minded friends and, fortuitously, he had a spare ticket to a two day BBC festival this weekend so here I am.
Danny picked me up from the airport and we set straight to sightseeing, following directions that a friend of his had written for him.
First stop, Glenariff, also known as The Queen of the Nine Glens.
It was quite a dramatic valley and my photo does not do it justice.
After a bit of havering we found the walk down a valley to see some waterfalls.
This one has a name that means ‘grey mare’s tail’. The walk was lovely and at the bottom was a bar where we had a pint and Danny unsuccessfully tried to make me taste his Guinness.
The walk back up was slightly hampered by the pints but we made it eventually, admiring the swathes of bluebells along the way.
Next stop a little town called Cushendun. The whole town looked freshly painted and the main street was delightfully colourful.
There was also a large mural about hurling.
Next up were the Dark Hedges. Featured on one early episode of Game of Thrones, these beeches are very old and very dramatic. Unfortunately quite a few have been storm damaged and the large numbers of tourist buses are affecting the roots around the ones that still stand.
There were only a few people there and we managed to walk down the road and get some people-free photos.
By then it was getting on so we headed back to Belfast and had dinner and a couple of drinks, during which we were joined by a handful of random people. One of whom told me I ‘sounded like someone from Neighbours’. As I’ve said in previous posts, there’s nothing like travelling to make you aware of your national stereotypes. Could be worse I suppose?