A Northern Ireland A to Z PowerPoint freebie instant download for teachers of social studies, geography, and cultures is included in this post. We finally were able to visit Castle View Academy in Northern Ireland and also see some tourist locations, and saw many of the locations I mentioned in this post about Northern Ireland a long time ago. In the intervening time, Game of Thrones filming was mostly completed, and we could see some of the places the episodes took place.
We had a private tour the first full day we were in Northern Ireland which took us to many interesting spots along the Antrim Coast. We almost blew away! Tourist information warns to check the windspeed prior to visiting! No wonder. On a weather site with historical information, it appears the gusts were up to 38 miles per hour and a wind speed of about 21 approximately when were were vistiing. According to Wikipedia:
The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.
This is the kind of shuttle we took down to see the hexagonal columns with different heights such as the Organ. Some of the columns rising up have four, five, seven or eight sides. Fascintating! However, the shuttles were stopped due to high winds as soon as we were back up from shore along the Irish Sea. Whew! We were happy we could see this area even in wind and rain.
Here is a very few second MP4 showing the waves crashing in to the shore. Video by Crystal of Castle View Academy.
Ballintoy Harbour was of course also very windy as it was on the same day. We saw groups of tourists wearing Games of Thrones costumes (with rain ponchos thrown over) with their wooden swords in hand. They were heading to specific spots to enjoy the show settings. The waves were some of the highest I have ever seen.
Although I have never watched Game of Thrones, I did enjoy seeing the many locations where it was filmed. Dunluce Castle has an interesting legend (that is not true) that the kitchen fell in the sea one stormy night. Supposedly, the kitchen boy sat safely in one corner after the fall. However, the kitchen area is still there. These ruins have inspired artists from C.S. Lewis to Led Zeppelin, and I suspect many other people as well.
All along the Antrim coast the landscape was beautiful and different from Minnesota (even up near Grand Marais). It was fun just looking out of the window. By now, I guess you have figured out why Northern Ireland is so green. You might enjoy this post from Castle View Academy about a story which takes place near her homeschool. She also has a post with travel book recommendations about traveling to her part of the world.
There were trains, buses, taxis, and tour buses to ride in every day to get to our desired locations. Sometimes the bus isn’t the best option, and sometimes it is — everything just depends. Fortunately, we had great advice from our friends. Walking wasn’t the best option with the challenging weather, but Crystal wrote a post about what she has learned walking around the area for you to enjoy. Tristan has seen all this like a hundred times but he was a happy tour guide.
Belfast, Northern Ireland, has seen many troubles over the years. We took a Black Taxi tour by Walter and were shocked about some of the things we learned. There are tall iron gates that still are closed between neighborhoods at night. Political murals are all around and many have very strong opinions. It was so interesting as we didn’t realize the extent to which tensions still run high. Brexit however it happens may cause a hard border once again between southern Ireland and Northern Ireland. Costs could rise and some items may become scarce. It is difficult to know what might result, but it is obvious there could be many issues to solve.
The Titanic Museum in Belfast is not only a museum, but also has several restaurants on the main level. Just to enter the building, tickets are not required. This allows visitors to go to the gift shop or have something to eat in the beautiful building. We had a nice lunch there. Nearby, our daughter went to the Games of Thrones exhbit and saw costumes, the Iron Throne, as well as many scary dragons.
Kalli welcomed us with a homemade flag as well as cookies she baked herself. The one problem was we enjoyed the cookies so much there were none to take home! We appreciated them so much as with the time difference we weren’t hungry at the right times at first. They were wonderful and I hope she starts her cooking YouTube channel soon.
You might also like our A to Z slide shows for our other travel experiences!