Did you know that there are two Ireland’s? It may sound humorous, now (since I’m developing quite a reputation as Irish obsessed), but I had no idea of that fact when I first landed in the Northern one. During my first backpacking trip to Belfast, back in 2013, I made the terrible mistake of thinking Northern Ireland was just an extension of what is formally referred to as the Republic of Ireland. True story. Now thinking back, it’s pretty ridiculous given that you would think that I had learned about Northern Ireland’s history at some point in school. But either I didn’t, or I retained none of it.
Luckily, a rather tart bus driver was more than willing to educate me on the difference as he kicked me off his bus for trying to use the wrong currency (N. Ireland = Pounds not Euro). There’s nothing quite like learning firsthand from the locals.
That was then, this is now. And on our two week backpacking trip me and one of my friends decided to take a day tour up to Belfast to visit (what turned out to be) one of the most beautiful museums I’ve ever been to. I didn’t get a picture of the outside of the museum but you can see, thanks to the interwebs, what it looks like, above. It’s absolutely immense, and you go through each level learning about a different aspect of the Titanic – from concept to construction to catastrophe. If you’re ever in Belfast I CANNOT recommend the museum enough – it was breathtaking.
In addition to sponging up as much information as possible, the overall bus tour itself was also great (despite the weather, which we’ll talk about in Part II). I’ve done three tours, now, with WildRover tours, and I’ve loved every single one. It really is one of the best ways to learn about the history of Ireland while seeing the countryside. Here are some of my favorite pics from this part of the trip!