Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ireland Day 5 - Belfast Castle & Cave Hill

Thursday was the main day for the conference. We met everyone for breakfast at a cafe where I had porridge, which is what we call oatmeal. From there everyone left for the conference and I asked around to find out which bus I needed to take to go see Belfast Castle then took off on my own.

The bus I got on was a double-decker so I went up on the top level to get a better view of the city on my way out. I was the only one up there for most of the time.

Here's one cool building I saw on the bus.

After about 15 or 20 minutes, I saw a sign for Belfast Castle so I got off at the next stop. I felt pretty proud of myself for finding my way there without any problems! I had to backtrack a little to get to the castle, but saw a sign that said something like Castle Park right away so I followed that road. It took me through the most beautiful wooded park on a nice paved trail. I was wishing I had brought my running shoes, but I had decided to leave them home because my achillies was feeling pretty sore for a couple days leading up to the trip and I didn't want to be tempted! It was nice just walking though.

It was so beautiful and green!

Here's my first view of Cave Hill in the distance.

My first view of the castle.

Closer view

The gardens were very nice, and there were several cats.

These Italian style stairs were added on later.

 A view from inside the castle.

The only person I saw in the castle was the girl at the front desk and she told me I could go down the "wee spiral stairs."

After exploring the small castle, which has a restaurant and a small museum inside, I went back outside and followed the trail that went up to Cave Hill. It was kind of a strenuous hike, and I could sure feel it in my lungs, but it also felt really good to be out there!

I came around a corner and saw this view. Of course, the picture does not do it justice.

The view from the trail.

Closer to the cliffs. 

One of the caves that the the hill is named for.

It took me about half an hour or so to hik up to where Iturned around. Here's the view back down the trail.

After my hike, I saw a guy run up the trail, and I was very impressed! That would not be an easy run! Again I kind of wished I had my running shoes.

I walked back down to the bus stop through this nice neighborhood. The yeild signs there say "Give Way." Just a little reminder that I'm in a different country.

I took the bus back and watched it fill up as we got closer to town. I thought it was cool to see the men stand up and give their seats to the sweet old ladies that would get on. I don't ever take the bus at home so I don't know if that's how it is here or not, but it was nice to see.

I had lunch at the mall close to where I got off the bus, then walked back to the hotel. It was raining a little when I got off the bus, but cleared up when I got close to the hotel. The light was shining beautifully on the assembly hall across from our hotel.

Then when I got up to my room, I noticed this rainbow over the city. No nice.

That evening I planned to meet Pete and everyone at a restaurant called Made In Belfast right next to St. Ann's Cathedral. Since I still had a bus ticket I could use for the rest of the day, I decided I would be crazy and wear my heels that I brought in place of my running shoes. I am terrible at walking in heels, but I justified that I could take the bus since I went right by there on my way out in the morning. I was feeling so confident about my bus riding skills that I thought this was a great plan!

Well, I ended up getting on the wrong bus, and soon noticed that I was heading the wrong way, out of town! I got off the bus, and had no idea where I was! It was dark, and I saw what looked like a cathedral nearby. I went over to check it out, just in case I was lucky and it was St. Ann's. It was not, but it was beautiful, and I'm glad I got to see it. I saw a sign that said St. Peter's Cathedral so this could have been that. I have no idea, though.

I waited at the bus stop for a while, but had no idea when the next bus would come so I started walking back the way I had come. It took me a while, and I was so anoyed at myself for even bringing heels to Europe, but I finally found the restaurant and everything was fine! I even got there before my food. I was sadly dissapointed with the food at this place because it really seemed like my kind of place with fresh, local ingredients.

After that we went to the after party which was cool to get to talk to some of the other designers that were there for the conference. Along with a few guys from Ireland, we talked to a guy from Israel, and a couple from Belgum who were all really interesting. It was a fun night, and quite an adventurous day!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great trip. I'm sorry you were sick for most of it. :c