Monday, 4 July 2011

On the Paddywagon tour of Northen Ireland

Today I boarded the Paddywagon tour bus for Northern Ireland.
The trip up was rather ordinary. This is because the bus left at 7:00 am and i slept until Belfast, as did most of the others.  The bus was suppose to leave at 6:50, but it was late.  I have since found out that in Ireland, buses are considered on time if they are + or - 10 minutes.  A bit different to London.  They offer apologies when they are delayed by 10 seconds! We only stopped in Belfast to pick up more people. The tour guide also boarded the bus here. This bloke proved to be a real character!
The first touristy stop was the rope bridge in Carrick-a-Rede. I wandered across the bridge with a Canadian girl 'Kate' whom had also caught the bus. I could look down without locking onto the rope for dear life, so i think i did alright. It was here that the only photos of me were taken!  However, they are on my camera, and not my phone, so they will not be posted on this blog.
The second stop was Giant Causeway. Some of these rocks have been stood on so many times, the tops are highly polished. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel there, and had a feed. I got the steak an Guinness pie, which was not so much a pie, but a stew on a plate with an oval of some over-puffy pastry resting on top. Kate got the burger. The burger actually had some bunny food on it, so maybe the Irish do slightly better burgers than London. Maybe it is still more of a 'venue' thing.
We viewed Dunluce castle from the bus. Due to insurance (short story, but i don't know much of it) and possably time, we were not able to get off and look. Bit of a shame. Would have been good to look at it. Knowing me, I would need an afternoon.
Slash city was next, otherwise known as Derry / Londonderry. Note the slash in the middle of the name. Prodistants only accept it being called Londonderry while Catholics call it Derry. Many signs have both names written with a slash between the names, hence the more neutral name, "Slash City". We took a walking tour, and learnt all about "bloody sunday" where the recent troubles started.
Back on the Paddywagon, and we drove back to Belfast. the second half of the journy is the only part of the bus trip where i did not sleep!  We dropped off the tempory Belfastians, had a final drink, and traveled onward to Dublin.  Turns out, this part of the trip is about 2.5 hours. I know that because i also did not sleep (much) on the return trip.

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