Sightseeing on a day trip from Northern Ireland to the North of Ireland

Giant's Causeway, Ireland, Europe

Ireland Roadtrip: Dublin – Belfast – Letterkenny, 361 km

(Comments in italics by Johanna and Daniel)

Sightseeing in Northern Ireland: Titanic Museum in Belfast

“The beds were damn small back then”. What amazed us the most was not the unimaginable noise from the steel nails hammering, from which the workers went deaf, the fact that this ship did not even survive the maiden voyage and yet fascinates all the world or the actual sinking, but the size (or not) of the beds in the replicas of the cabins from 1st, 2nd and 3rd class. We make a stop at the Titanic Museum in Belfast.

Titanitc museum in Belfast, North Ireland, Europe
wall display representing the workers who built the Titanic, Titanic museum, Belfast

Biggest advantage: We didn’t have to see Jack (Jack Dawson?). All in all, a very interesting design of the museum, especially focusing on the construction and architecture of the ship. The ship was constructed and furnished with unimaginable effort by today’s standards – too bad it didn’t last long. Above all, the local workforce from Belfast and the pride they felt after the 3-year construction of the Titanic was well conveyed. Therefore, their sinking had to be all the more tragic. An iceberg? Those amateurs. The Titanic was supposedly “unsinkable.” To Daniel’s displeasure, the exhibition was quite interesting for Johanna and me – also because I learned to Marconi-morse CQD. Not that I ever want to need it, but useless knowledge never hurt. That’s why we spent a good two hours there.

Dock where the Titanic was built, Titanic museum, North Ireland, Europe
The Titanic Museum itself is located on the square of the shipyard, so from the fourth floor you also have a view of the part of the dock where the Titanic was launched in 1912.

Interactive museum about the building of a ship at the beginning of the 20th century

After a morning of snowstorms and left-hand traffic, it was good to stretch our legs. Who would have thought that we would experience such white weather in the middle of March on the “green island”? Besides, we had already frozen off all our limbs yesterday, so it was good to spend some time in the warm museum. Really recommended, not only because of the pleasant temperatures. A lot of interactive parts, now and then a narrator, here and there interesting facts from the (separately available) audio guide and finally even a “round trip” through the shipyard with a wagon like at the fair made it an exciting visit.

// Museum visit: Titanic Belfast

Game of Thrones movie set: The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland, Europe
Next to the museum is a venue of a very different kind: The HBO studio, where they filmed parts of Game of Thrones.

The museum visit therefore inspired us for a short stopover. One of the five most beautiful avenues in the world. “The Dark Hedges”, which represents the King’s Road in the series. Not quite as green as on TV due to the time of year, but no less impressive.

// One of the Game of Thrones filming locations: The Dark Hedges

Must-see when on a sightseeing tour in Ireland: Giant’s Causeway

Also impressive, and not far from there, are the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway. We reached the UNESCO World Heritage Site via a 10-15 minute walk from the official parking lot. During the day it costs real money, but since we arrived shortly before sunset and closing of the visitor center, no one was interested in us (and our wallet) anymore. Very exciting, as you can climb the lava columns there, but also unfortunately much too icy because of the strong wind. We hold out nevertheless for the obligatory photos and I am grateful for my impermeable windbreaker. With the setting sun we now also make our way to our final destination.

At least it hasn’t snowed in Northern Ireland anymore and the rest of the drive towards Letterkenny was, apart from the countless traffic circles, calm and tranquil. This resulted in a popular guessing game in the evening – the best estimate of how many kilometers or miles it is to the next traffic circle won a prize. Since the game went over many more rounds than we could count, we did not note the exact score in the end.

// Impressive freak of nature: Giant’s Causeway

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