As a part of my school curriculum I read Riders to the Sea by John Millington Synge. This one act play enthralled my senses (not because of its tragedy) with the amazing descriptions of the coastal towns of Ireland and its rough seas. When I grew up and saved enough money to venture on my first tour abroad I chose Northern Ireland as the location. Along the tour, I found out many amazing aspects of this great country. I have to say, Northern Ireland deceives the people world over as a small country, it has in fact hidden its true beauty in the countryside and fishing villages. What I saw while in Northern Ireland was forest parks, Blue Mountains, windswept moors, gracious lakes and Atlantic sand. This nation is far from being that dark overshadowed land. A beautiful of neck of the woods!
Back then I was a young and exuberant traveler, who lacked any experience of travelling abroad. Luckily I was in the safe hands of my uncle. He was the planner on this tour. I heard from him that Belfast, which is the capital of Northern Ireland, is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. So we decided to stay and enjoy the beauty of Belfast before going on to explore the interiors of this nation. There is a lot of history surrounded around this city. It was and still is the centre for Irish linen industry, shipbuilding, rope making and tobacco production. In fact the ill fated RMS Titanic was built by the Irish shipbuilders Harland and Wolf.
You can experience what the ship was like by visiting the Titanic Belfast Museum. This museum contains some of the remnants of this great ship alongside other ships built in Ireland. Both I and my uncle have a special liking for the historical sites and Belfast has plenty of them, in fact this city played a key role in the Industrial Revolution. The historical sites we visited during our stay at Northern Ireland includes: Malone House, Belfast City Hall, Carrickfergus Castle, Bangor Abbey, Belfast Castle Estate, The White House Heritage Centre, Knockagh Monument, etc. After enjoying Belfast we started exploring the other attractions of Northern Ireland. Some of these must visit sites are:
- Carrick-a Rede: This area is not only picturesque but also a hub for the fishermen. It falls in the Salmon’s sea route across the Atlantic. There was a bridge constructed to get the fishermen at convenient fish catching areas, which still exists. The Carrick-a Rede offers thrilling views of the sea.
- Lough Neagh: This is the largest Lake in entire British Isles. There are a couple of other lakes in the vicinity and some swamp lands. This is a Special Protection Area for some water bodies.
- Giants Causeway: This should definitely make it through to one of the wonders of the world. An amazing place surrounded by the seas and glens. There are many fishing villages located in the vicinity where you can enjoy the day after having absorbed the beauty of Giants Causeway and Glens.
- Mourne Mountain: This is a granite mountain range and the most famous mountain in the country. The surrounding area has great natural beauty. It pulls a large number of visitors every day. No wonder we found so many Asians at the spot!
There were many other places we visited during this exciting tour, but these were the most memorable.