Westeros, Finn McCool, and Murphy’s

Skipping out on Greece was a sad thing to do, but I knew I couldn’t handle the heat so I opted to go to Belfast and spend more time in Ireland. I have been to Ireland before, but Northern Ireland was a whole new terrain. I met a couple people from Northern Ireland while I was in Porto and they were giving me tips on things to do, like go to Giant’s Causeway and do a Game of Thrones tour of the filming locations, and they also gave me some tips on what to eat.

I got to Belfast after a layover in Edinburgh and was pleasantly surprised by how small the airport was and how rainy it was outside. Now, I love rainy days and I hadn’t seen rain in weeks so I was pretty excited about it. The airport had a direct link to the bus station downtown which wasn’t too far of a walk from the hostel. I was staying right near the university so there were loads of restaurants and bars along the walk to my hostel. Once I got there, they had tons to offer. I was feeling pretty lazy and they had a tv room where there were a couple of people hanging out watching Netflix and having some snacks. They also had a game room and offered a ton of options for things to do in Belfast and Northern Ireland. Since I had booked a rental car for the next day, I didn’t have to book any tours but it was cool to see them offer so much. If you can’t already tell, Global Village Belfast is one of my favorite hostels.

I watched countless movies, including one of my new favorites from New Zealand (Hunt For The Wilderpeople), and having food with people from all over the world. To be honest, I don’t remember anyone’s names, but it was kind of fun being anonymous. I had an early day the next morning.

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I had an early day the next morning and I rented a car. I decided to do this instead of doing a tour because it would kind of be on my own pace. I was able to see a bunch of filming locations from Game of Thrones as well as the Giant’s Causeway. There is a drive from Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway that goes along the coast and really has some beautiful views. I might have felt a little lonely but I wouldn’t give up those views for anything.

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I made it to the Giant’s Causeway and learned all about Finn McCool. That is something I love about Ireland. They have all kinds of stories to go along with things and places that are passed down through the generations. They could be stories about giants living in the seaside cliffs, but they still bring a smile to your face. I can just picture people telling that story in a pub on a rainy evening!

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After a cold and rainy afternoon there, I got in the car and headed back to Belfast through the wind and rain. It felt like a fall day when I got back there so I had a cup of tea and spent another night in.

The next day was also rainy and I was heading to the city where my (Murphy) family came from. Honestly, I didn’t do much in Armagh, but it was really cool to see the place that my family came from. I did find a little pub that came highly recommended by my parents called the Hole in the Wall. The owner actually remembered them and their trip around Ireland from when she first bought the pub. I got to talk to a few locals and got a few drinks bought for me simply because I was a Murphy (and not technically related to the other Murphys around me).

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My hostel in Armagh couldn’t even compare to the place I stayed in Belfast. Actually, it was pretty awful. I do not recommend staying in Youth Hostels in any city because I never had a good experience in any of them. It is really cool to see the places where your family comes from though because it gives you a weird connection to that place. I never knew the family that lived there, but I still felt connected to it.

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