Notes From The Road: Northern Ireland

I’m spending six weeks trundling through Europe – staying with friends, meeting with clients, and eating my weight in cheese. You can read about previous travels here.

Did you know that there are actually two separate countries on that island to the west of the United Kingdom?  Of course you knew that.  I was just checking.The southern part of Ireland is The Republic of Ireland.  They use the Euro and they fly the Irish flag.  The northern bit of the island is North Ireland and is part of the UK.  They use Pounds and fly the union jack.

Annoying geography refresher course now complete!

I spent the last six days catching up with a friend from grad school, advising the NGO she works for about internet awesomery, and eating and seeing All The Things.


* Drinking cider in a proper pub.  I’d always thought that the decor of America’s ‘Irish Pubs’ was a put on – all those dark booths and mirrors and the bright paint and gold letters.  Nope.  Nope.  That’s a pretty decent approximation!

* Discovering that Giant’s Causeway is a lovely, lovely, totally over-touristed area.  You know what’s way better?  Following your Irish friends down a tiny path through sheep fields out to the coast.

* Touring the world’s oldest whiskey distillery (I’m a total dork for factory tours) and all those samples at the end.  I’ve also discovered that 16 year old scotch is totally wasted on me.

* Visiting a local county fair!  We ate ‘Yella man’ (a locally made sweet), saw all those lovely hairy cows and funny feather-footed chickens and ate lots of homemade cheese.  But all of that pales in comparison to the MINI HORSE SHOW.  You guys.  Mini horses.  Not chubby little ponies but proportionally accurate tiny horses.  Be still my heart!

* Witnessing a cat-shaped topiary at Belfast Castle.  Done.

Today, I head down to ‘Ireland Ireland’ as I refer to it for a bit of time in Limerick, Cork and then Dublin!  Wish me luck navigating all those trains!



Thanks for a lovely positive and beautiful blog post about my home. N. Ireland is great – if you liked it then you will love Ireland! Enjoy your trip.


You're coming to Limerick!! YEAH!! My home town,

check out
King Johns Castle
Nancy Blakes Bar
The Milk Market on Saturday or Sunday (but especially Saturday if you can make it)
Thomond Park
The University of Limerick campus (where I work!)
Tom Collins Bar
The River Shannon – feed the swans!
All the amazing galleries – there is an excellent Art college, so there are lots of galleries as a result.
The peoples park – go to the Limerick City Gallery of Art next to year and enjoy a yummy tea and cupcake overlooking the park
The Georgain Quarter of the city and so much more!!!
If I can be of any help, just email 🙂

Little redhead

I love Ireland to bits, it's my favourite place in the world, I try to go there often and intend to move there eventually. That's why I landed an Irish man probably 😀 Too bad you're not stopping in Galway, it's such a lovely city. Good luck with the trains, that's going to be a loooong journey :D.


Don't you just love Nothern Ireland? Did you know I lived there for three years, my brother was born there, and my entire maternal side of the family still lives there? Well, didja?

Morag Lee

Great geography lesson 😉 the amount of people that don't know the difference astounds me! Even British people seem to think it's one country, or that the whole island is part of the UK! Enjoy Dublin – expensive city but so full of energy!

Morag x

Animal Cafe

I thought the exact same thing! The ammount of times that I had to explain the difference between N.Ireland and the republic of ireland was to people – and I mean english people – was ridiculous!

jessica swift

Mini horses!!! Oh my gosh, I love them. And Ireland is one of my favorite places I've ever visited. Though I didn't see a cat-shaped topiary, which makes me feel like I missed out on something and should probably go back! 🙂


I have a friend who lives in Northern Ireland but I have never managed to actually go and visit! So close, but seems so far away! These pictures look gorgeous, I hope you have a lovely time in Ireland Ireland! xoxo

Piper Earish

There ain't no thing as worries when you're traveling amidst this beautiful scenery you posted. Don't worry on the cheese you consume because you'll be needing much for spending energy on travelling and enjoying Europe.


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