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Carrick-a-RedeWednesday, 3 April 2013: 
Wednesday morning, we took a bus tour with Paddywagon Tours to the Giant’s Causeway. I cannot recommend this tour group enough! Our bus driver was hysterical and just filled with really awesome facts along the way!

Here are some of the cool facts we learned as we passed each place:

  1. The Europa Hotel in Belfast has been bombed 32 times, the most of any hotel in the world, and they have found over 200 bombs–its in the world record book.
  2. The Game of Thrones is filled at Titanic Studios in Belfast–they are always looking for extras just FYI
  3. Carrick-a-Rede Rope BridgeBallymena is the home town of Liam Neeson
  4. According to our tour guide, the Kennedy family destroyed a Fairy Fort on their land in order to sell it and move to America (Irish folklore says if you destroy a Fairy Fort then you will have good luck but the next 7 generations of your family will have bad luck). Guess what, the Kennedy’s are on their 7th generation right now…
  5. Shebel Hill is where St. Patrick tended his flock of sheep before he was captured and sold

After our tour of Northern Irish countryside, we reached Carrick-a-Rede, which is where my adventure of the day really began! Carrick-a-Rede is an absolutely gorgeous area on the coast, and it has a rope bridge that connects the cliffs to the land over the sea–and yeah, I totally walked across it! It was absolutely terrifying and awesome!

Carrick-a-Rede

Our next stop was the Giant’s Causeway. Giant's CausewayMy new friend that I met on this trip (and I must say, she is the biggest blessing to have met over here) and I throughly explored the Giant’s Causeway, climbing as many of the really cool rocks as we could. We even (and I still cannot believe that we did this) climbed the cliff to see the Giant’s Causeway from high up. I have to brag on us–we climbed the cliff, yes CLIFF (that cliff in the picture to the right), in 10 minutes flat. I had originally said I could go up the incline but that my knees might give out on the Cliff we climbed at Giant's Causewaystairs so no to the last bit of the cliff, but as Brittany began to run up them for a “quick look,” I started to follow shouting “Just don’t stop moving and I’ll keep following!” I couldn’t feel my bad knee by the time we reached the top (and honestly, I couldn’t really breathe either…that’s what I get for running up stairs at high altitude) but I cannot tell you how worth the pain/numbness it was. The view was AMAZING! If you are ever at the Giant’s Causeway, climb the cliff (or at least take the path from behind the visitor center to the cliff and walk down it). It was absolutely breathtaking.
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Our last stop for the day on the tour was at Dunluce Castle. There is a cave system underneath the castle that was used by the owners of the castle throughout history for different things, but this cave system is actually causing the castle to fall into the ocean because of its instability. Dunluce Castle
To top off one of the best days in Ireland so far, Karoline, Brittany and I went to dinner at the Elms (a really good pub) where we proceeded to tell hysterical pranking stories. We were laughing so hard that the bar tender was laughing at us when he came by our table. After dinner we went to Robinsons Fibber Magees for live Irish music. The band was fantastic, and we even got to witness Brittany dance with the cutest 80 year old man at the pub! This day in Ireland was absolutely my favorite, and I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.

More Irish adventures to come soon!

This next week I will be in Budapest, follow me on Instagram at amyestone12 or on Twitter @amyestone12 for cool pics and facts about Budapest!

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