It has been wonderful exploring Northern Ireland over the past couple days. As I sit here, I am getting ready to return to Dublin for one more evening before I head back to the states. After hiking all day, I returned to Paddy’s Palace Hostel to cook a simple dinner and have a quiet evening. I finally managed to write some post cards and book a bed for my final night in Dublin tomorrow.
I hiked around 6mi. today, getting from the city center all the way up and around Belfast Castle. The views back to Belfast were spectacular. For once, it didn’t rain at all today! It was incredibly muddy on the trails, so I didn’t make it up to the Fort on the bluff overlooking the city. Though I did find the first of several caves in the park.
I am amazed by the subtle differences between Irish and American culture. The Irish are much more polite. People are helpful and will go out of their way to make sure you are all set. They are also incredible literalists. A ham salad sandwich has ham, and salad, on it.
I have yet to figure out the £, which is legal tender in Northern Ireland. There are about 8 coins…I keep confusing 1 pound and 20p, which are about the same size! The € was fine. It will be nice to get back to the US though, since I will stop loosing money with every transaction!
My plan for tomorrow is to get to my hostel, then go souvenir shopping, and maybe do a couple tours. Oh, and try to hear some more music. A busy day to be sure. I have had a pretty relaxed touring schedule since I have been on my own, but planning takes a lot of work. Until later…