This is a series of posts on our recent trip to Ireland. If you missed part 1 (Dublin), you can find here.
After a few days in Dublin, we rented a car and drove north to Belfast. Here’s a few things we did along the way and in Belfast!
1.) Went to Winterfell (aka Castle Ward)
You guys, the above pic is probably my favorite from the trip! Mike, E (Mike’s sister) and I are all big Game of Thrones fans, so we jumped at the chance to visit Castle Ward (about 2 hours north of Dublin), which is the filming site for Winterfell and several other locations in the TV series. We got the chance to walk around the grounds, dress up in costumes (actual extras costumes left behind by HBO!), and take an archery lesson from one of the instructors on site. The castle itself doesn’t look that large or high, and we learned that CGI is used to build upon the base of the actual castle to make it look larger and more imposing in the show.Beyond the castle, there are several gorgeous hiking trails, and we hiked for a few hours before heading to a local town to grab something to eat and then heading up to Belfast.
2.) Giant’s Causeway
This is one of the many natural wonders in Ireland – hexagonal basalt columns by the sea, formed by a volcanic eruption long ago. This was one of my favorite hikes and sights the whole trip – so beautiful and strange to behold! Also, I clearly mastered the selfie :) Sunglasses are key to this technique, in case I forget to look at the camera…3.) Drank some Bushmills whiskey
We spent a few days in Belfast, and most days we ate breakfast, then drove out to see some of the sights. One afternoon, we spotted the Bushmills distillery and decided to check out the whiskey tasting and give our feet a rest :)Just the thing to warm us up after a chilly day of walking! And this was vacation, after all..
4.) Dark Hedges
This was another incredible natural sight (and also used as a set for GoT, I believe)- a tunnel formed by beech trees! It was a little misty the morning we visited, which really perfected the atmosphere.I think they’d be even more incredible in the evening twilight, don’t you think?
5.) Cooked breakfast
Because we were a family of five traveling together, airbnb was the way to go. We rented houses with 3-4 bedrooms in each location we went to, and picked up some supplies from the market to make breakfasts like these:
Stewed tomatoes (I LOVED the tomatoes in Ireland, so flavorful), ham or white pudding, eggs and bread with butter. I looked forward to breakfast every morning!
Where we stayed: 3 Bed House in Queens Quarter – loved Keith’s place; nice kitchen stocked with cutlery and cooking implements, comfortable bedrooms, and lots of space
Where we ate: Lee Garden – this is a weird one, I know, but by day 5-6 of our trip, several of us were craving Asian food…so we ended up at the Chinese restaurant with the Chinese tour buses parked out front. The food was decent and definitely satisfied our cravings ;)
Have you ever visited a place that was the film set of a movie or TV show?