Please accept my sincerest apologies for failing to record my December Euro trip. Three months plagued with constant lethargy rendered me quite useless. Oh how I’ve missed you all and thank God I’m now able to think straight enough to produce a post reflecting on my more recent trip to Europe (end of March).
The Irish weather was atypically pleasant according to spring time standards (mostly clear skies and around 50 degrees fahrenheit). Although freezing in my opinion, local teenage girls roamed the streets excited to display their pasty white midriffs. Meanwhile, torrential down pours and thunderstorms engulfed Southern California. I’m thankful to have experienced this relatively good European weather, yet I hate how I always miss those momentously rare back home weather patterns. Nothing new, this happens just about every time I travel.
As we continued along northern Ireland’s coastal road, we came upon the seaside town of Ballycastle. We had lunch at the Cafe Boyles which offered a selection of pastries and a nice menu of salads, sandwiches and a few other ‘wee’ menu specials. As you drive further you’ll come upon the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge which links the mainland to a small Carrick island. We didn’t make the stop, but the concierge at our hotel had recommended it.
Eventually we arrived at the Giant’s Causeway. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this natural wonder offered a shuttle service for 2.00 GBP per person (I think) which takes visitors to and from the ancient volcanic rock display.
From there we made our way back to Belfast on the A26 and joined onto the M2 into Belfast. Not an enormously scenic way to go, but much quicker than the way we had come.
Fitzwilliam Hotel – Belfast ☆☆☆☆☆
There is a very small turn out on the street beside the Fitzwilliam where you can pull over and check in. Sometimes this area is occupied, so driving around the block a few times can become necessary until space is available. Valet was 17.00 GBP per day. Front desk staff were very friendly. The room was quite lovely and the bathroom was relatively spacious. No notable counter space though. When the mirror got fogged up after taking a shower, they had made a little no-fog spot on the mirror so you’re able to continue getting ready. Strangely it was way too high for me to reap any benefit. I’m not that short so… it was weird. Also, for you female readers, the lighting in the bathroom is extremely bad.
The doors to the hotel room slam so incredibly loud even if you try to shut them carefully. That little design flaw needs to be addressed because when other people would come in and out on our floor during the night it would wake us up every time. Other than those couple of flaws, the hotel was really nice.
The restaurant had some good vegetarian choices at dinner, and breakfast was pretty good yet pricey.
We had a chance to walk around town and beside the city hall is a busy shopping street if thats what you’re into. Before leaving to the airport we had traditional English “Tea” for lunch at the Merchant Hotel. Be sure to make a reservation as it is a very popular place in a beautiful, historic building formerly a bank now converted into a hotel.
As usual, let me know if you have any questions at all. We loved Ireland so much! The people are so warm, friendly and we’re hoping to return again someday to explore this island more thoroughly!