“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures”
A little over a week ago I got the opportunity to travel to Northern Ireland with Chevening as part of their “Best of British presents” event series. I was quite lucky to be able to secure a ticket for this trip as Chevening events sell out very quickly. This particular event sold out within one minute! Although Chevening organizes many activities throughout the year, this was actually my first time attending one of their events and it turned out to be quite the adventure :). Two awesome days spent in Belfast with great people.
The first day we visited Stormont Estate, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly. A beautiful grand white building situated on the rolling hills of East Belfast. I’m not usually one for tours of parliamentary buildings but our guide was absolutely hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. A series of lectures about the history of Belfast followed along with a networking drinks reception. It was great getting to know more of my fellow Cheveners. There are over 1800 of us and thus far I have only met a handful. The rest of the day was spent exploring Belfast’s city centre and historical attractions. One such attraction was The Crown Liquor Saloon also known as “Belfast’s most famous Pub” where my new friends and I enjoyed a half pint of Irish ale. It was actually fairly refreshing but I think I’ll stick to my mojitos :).
Day two of the trip was the real winner. We journeyed to two of Belfast’s most iconic natural landmarks, Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (pictured above) is a unique rock formation along the Irish coast consisting of thousands of layered basalt columns and flat rocks, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. However, Irish folklore has it that the causeway was carved by the mighty yet gentle Giant, Finn McCool. The mystery of the causeway remains however it is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent natural landmarks I have ever visited.
Next stop was Carrick-a-Rede, with its picture perfect coastal scenery, stunning views of nearby Scottish islands and exhilarating rope bridge experience. Although the once fully rope bridge is now also steel enforced, it is not for the faint of heart or those who fear heights. However, once you dare to cross over to the other side, the amazing views you are treated to are well worth it. I had been feeling quite home sick recently, however with the sun shining bright and sparkling upon the turquoise blues of the ocean, it almost felt like home and I loved it.
If anyone is thinking of visiting these beautiful Northern Ireland heritage sites be sure to dress casually and wear comfy shoes as it is quite a bit of a trek to both sites. You can catch a bus to Giant’s Causeway, however I would recommend walking as there are many amazing and picture worthy sights along the way. I am so glad that I got the chance to explore and learn about Northern Ireland. This trip was definitely one for the books! I hope you enjoyed this blog and be sure to check out my other recent travel blogs to Barcelona and Bath and Stonehenge.
Until Next Time :). Stay Chic, S.