This past week, Champlain Dublin brought its students to the North where we were able to apply the history learned in class, as well as seeing another coast of the island. While in the north, we were able to visit the Giants Causeway, had a small tour of Belfast, and got to see Dunluce Castle.
While in Belfast we were granted with some time to explore around the city, grab lunch, and integrate with what the city holds. Most students went to the Belfast market, only a nine minute walk away from the city center, where we had been dropped off. After, we met back on the bus and were granted a two tour guides who took turns speaking about certain locations and the history associated with those locations. The photo above is of the peace wall, which is filled with hundreds of names who sign in good faith that war doesn’t breakout between the Catholics and protestants once more.
Belfast has not had an easy history and has seen its fair share of violence. Only in recent years has peace been achieved, but the after effects are still lingering. Our final spot on the tour, we were able to see the graves of some who had lost their lives during the harder times of Belfast, also known as “The Troubles”. Some graves of note would be that of the hunger strikers who fought back in hope of better prison conditions, yet never lived to see what their sacrifice would allow.
One of the most tourist heavy places to visit, the giants causeway showcases the natural beauty which Ireland holds. However there are also some notable rock formations which can be worth the visit just the same.
The rocks you see are basaltic prisms, formed by cooling lava 50-60 million years ago. While this event doesn’t have to occur near the water, it does allow for a wonder photo spot. Just be careful as during the rainy season, these rocks can become more slippery than Ice.
Where we stayed was a hotel in Ballintoy, which is a wonderful spot to stay the night. The shore is a short 15 minute walk from the hostel, breakfast was provided, and there is a charming lookout spot where you cross a bridge and stay on your own little island, from which you can see Scotland
Lastly, we were able to see what could be one of the most secure castles in Ireland. Due to being on the side of a cliff from most directions, accessible only by a bridge, Dunluce castle is a spectacle worth beholding.