When in Ireland, You Guinness and Game of Thrones
Adventures come when we least expect it, and sometimes in ways we did not plan. In looking back at those adventures when everything worked out we are able to laugh about it. When IN the adventure and the not knowing panic of WILL I MAKE IT OUT of this thing, some people (looks at a self in mirror) don’t always handle these moments with grace.
The day started out lovely, with a delightful breakfast at this UBER hipster spot just next to the train station in Belfast. It’s called Yahi….and all their shirts read, ‘Say, Ya hi!’ I had an AMAZING scone with butter and jam, a latte, and a brown toast, butter, cinnamon and banana slice. My day started out amazingly, it really did.
We walked over to the bus location where we boarded our tour bus. And YES we did do the Game of Thrones Tour. It was amazing, but in a way of seeing the pride and love Ireland has for what Game of Thrones and HBO has given them. It was a delight to listen to Pete, our Tour guide, talk about the loyal adoration he has not just for his country but also the prosperity HBO has given to Ireland. Once we got moving, the excitement picked up!
Our first stop was in a little town just outside Belfast where they filmed the location of Arya popping up out of the water in Bravos after getting stabbed. It was amazing to see the scene in the episode and then actually seeing the location itself. Thinking from a film perspective of having the entire film crew, cameras, under water operators and actors all nudged into this tiny spot made me see how incredible a feat filming can be. Not to mention how much fun it would be to do location scouting for shows like this!
Our next stop were the caves where Melisandre gave birth to the demon assassin! Walking up, it looked like nothing at all but once you passed by the residential area you realize that holy crap, THIS IS THE SPOT! And as we entered the cave area the guide turned to our group and asked if we knew the secret secondary filming location. Once we rounded the corner I screamed out, ‘Holy crap this is where Euron Greyjoy died!’ Pete looked at me in shock and said, ‘Wow, you do know the show. No one has been able to guess that before.’ I felt quite happily smug. Back onto the bus and to the next location!
Giants Causeway! This was the main attraction and of course the main point of our tour. We jumped off the bus with the tour guide saying, ‘1:50pm return time, see you back here in just over an hour!’
This location was incredible to say the least. Just wow. The stone formations and the scale of this incredible landscape was breathtaking. Each stone had such angled edges, it in no way looks to be nature made but it is indeed made by nature. There was a great hike to the hillside peaks just past the giants causeway and we were able to look back over the scenery. It was just….well incredibly gorgeous doesnt quite do it justice.
They told a great amount of stories, myths and geological history of what made the stones they way they are. The best stories were about Fin the giants who lived in the mountains beside the causeway.
On our way back, we checked our watches realizing it was only 1:20, we had plenty of time. We casually strolled through the stores and shops and meandered our way through the parking lot and arrived to our bus right at 12:50. Well…it looked like our bus, but the driver suddenly had hair and the tour guide was NOT Pete. I turned to Bjorn with panic in my eyes and said, ‘Babe, I left my bag with our passports on the bus.’ Our bus was gone.
We walked back to the visitor center with much less leisure and much more panic. I approached on of the attendants and explained my situation to him and he said, ‘no worries we have all the bus information details of what tour you were on. Do you know where you are going next?’
I did know, so I practically screamed it at him in my panic and he just smiled. ‘We will get you there my dear, no problem at all.’ They called us a taxi, confirmed our bus was indeed at the lunch place that I had remembered we were going next and with in ten minutes we were on our way to Fullerton Arms. When we drove up I saw our bus parked and whispered, ‘Thank the lord!’ As we pulled up, we walked in and found our tour guide and he popped out of his chair and said, ‘oh thank god you are here! I was so worried we lost you!’ The bus had left at 1:40….not 1:50. Derp.
Crazily enough, we sat down just as our food arrived that we had preordered. So all in all, it was really great timing and our short lived panic enducing moment turned into giggles, guinness and deliciously warm steak and Guinness pie.
Just before we left Fullerton Arms we were able to take photos on the ‘iron’ throne with props. It was all totally hokey and fun, and completely worth it.
Our next stop, Carrick Rope Bridge were you cross over a rope bridge that is 100 ft distance between you and the very chilly blue green water below. I’m afraid of heights. You can imagine my reaction…
It was beautiful, terrifying, and delightfully fun. Our next stop though a quick one was also extremely enjoyable. We drove to the dark hedges where the kings guard rode through beneath the intertwined beech trees. They were quite a sight and it would have been incredible to see them at 6am with fog rolling through the country town.
As we wrapped our tour, I was over the moon with the amount of sights we’d been able to see and the level of adventure we embarked on. I also learned a very valuable lesson; bring your bag with you EVERYWHERE! And having a handful of cash on hand is always a good idea.