13th May 2013
With a bit of backtracking again this morning I got out of Derry and headed in the right direction to see the Giants Causeway. Came across a sign for the Giants Causeway Scenic Route, yeah, I’ll take that, better than staying on the highway. Then I kept passing these little signs about some road being closed between certain times but didn’t take too much notice until I came to a bloody road-block – WTF again! I cannot believe the trouble I am having with getting from A to B at the moment. Okay, turn around and head back to where I’d seen a couple of vans turn off earlier and go that way; oops, I’ve gone from small road to even smaller one, but it’s too narrow and wet to turn around so I keep going and eventually come out somewhere near where I’d turned originally. One day I am going to learn, look it all up properly, take notes and follow the damn directions, don’t take detours – one day………
I didn’t realize but the Giants Causeway is under the National Trust and classified by Unesco so there’s a massive visitors centre and car park quite a way from the site with all the whizz bang facilities. Shop, cafe, interactive displays, guided tours, audio tours and buses to ferry you back and forth if you wish. I got my audio guide and headed down on foot, at times I almost got blown along, the wind was ferocious. It really is well worth a visit and they present their tours and information in a very original and entertaining way. The mythical story of how the causeway came to be is much more fun than the scientific facts, guess that’s to be expected though. I thought I’d only be there maybe half an hour or so but dragged myself away after a few hours to face the road again.
Finally I used some common sense when booking a place to stay; as probably my only sightseeing in Belfast will be the docks where the Titanic was built, I looked for something around that area. See, my thinking was that it should be well signed, because they now call it the Titanic Quarter. Yay, I was right for once, big signs all the way and straight to the hotel with no dramas, even had time to take in the big new centre this afternoon as it stays open until 7 at night.
Now, if you have even the slightest interest in the story of the Titanic, this is one excellent place to go. I’m always a bit skeptical when they put these big visitor centers in, but this one is something else. I would go so far as to say it’s the best of this type of thing I’ve ever visited. There are nine different galleries that take you from conception to the aftermath and if you go to Belfast, do not miss it. I absolutely loved it and am coming back tomorrow for a walking tour around the dock area for more of all things Titanic.
So, two successful visits in one day – in Ireland, no less – maybe my luck has made a turn for the better; fingers crossed!