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Sur les pas des Géants : 12 jours au nord de l'Irlande

Sur les pas des Géants : 12 jours au nord de l'Irlande

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Group: Community Member Last Active: Fri 31 Jan 2020 9:26 AM Visits: 159
Belfast, Giant's Causeway, Derry, Inishowen Peninsula, Mount Errigal, Dongal.
After spending 5 days in Dublin 2 years ago, we decided to come back to discover this country for its landscapes, its legends, its traditions, its music, its history ...

we finally made 4 stays in Ireland, went around the world. Island by the Wild Atlantic Way and Park Market (more info)

Important:do not be afraid of the M50 toll. For rental cars, we have 1 month to pay. Just before you leave, go to the SPAR store at the airport T2 first floor (arrivals), with the copy of your rental agreement (for the number plate number) and pay the number of passage that you made. It is easy to find. You can also buy your tickets if you stay in Dublin (LeapVisitor Card). The toll is between exit 6 and exit 7. If you went out before, you do not have to pay. We did it in 2017 and 2019 without having a pb thereafter.

Preparation:
The more we watched and learned about the circuit we were going to do, the more we realized that it was impossible for us to go around in just 12 days. So we started by choosing what was most important for we for this first time. We decided to visit the Giant's Causeway and the North Coast, the Inishowen Peninsula to go to the northernmost point. As we were in Northern Ireland, we wanted to see the murals of Belfast and Derry, walk in the heart of these two cities and in the neighborhoods that have written part of their recent history. Then finish on the slopes of the Errigal, before returning to Dublin or Portmarnock to not be too far from the airport and again by the sea.
Everything was beautiful in this trip, yet far enough from the classics that are Connemara, cliffs of Moher and Kerry.
we made a first part of the trip using trains and buses. When we depend on public transportation, we take a little more time to stay in one place, we get information. We observe and let go. When we have the car, we must be careful not to miss the meetings by wanting to go too fast and to go from one point of view to another, and in the end, to have seen everything and nothing seen.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/c2a452a6-f6b7-4598-8ef3-b088.jpg
The program:
about 1000km in 2 weeks from 14/09 to 25/09.
Arrived in Dublin, time to join the bus departure platform, and we were already on our way to Belfast, where we will spend 2 nights and 3 days. I can not describe in a nutshell the historical background or the atmosphere in Belfast and Derry. I advise you to seek documentation before your trip to Northern Ireland. Knowing this piece of recent history of the region allows you to feel and observe better. "Lasting peace" between Catholics and Protestants dates back only to 1998.
 We started our trip with 2 nights in Belfast. Classic tours of the Titanic Quarter, the Quarter Cathedral, mounted roof top at the Victoria shopping center. We took a tour of the City Hall (beautiful and interesting), wandering the streets, the alleys of the Botanical Garden, Queen's University Belfast, drank a beer at the Crown Liquor Saloon (not to be missed for its decor). We took the bus to the parliament, and especially strolled on the Falls road, its adjacent streets, and along the peace wall to finish in Shankill (Protestant district) ...
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/ea0692b2-c2d1-42de-ab22-bb24.jpg

Then departure by train to castlerock + local buses, taxi. the train arrives in the center of the village. Mussenden Temple, Downhill Demesne National Trust Park was right above the hostel. the village of Castlerock was 20 minutes walk through the forest. 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/1bd1e7ae-9ef8-44b3-b7ad-05af.jpg
3 nights at the beautiful hostel "Downhill Beach hostel" that I highly recommend for its setting, its decor, its tranquility ...
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/2cb1109a-57e5-4d38-9c7f-b565.jpg
They offer rooms with private bathroom and offer beds in dormitories. Youth hostels are private in Ireland, some are beautiful middle-class houses, full of charm. There was nobody on those dates. We were able to walk around, walk on the sandy beach, see the sunset from the top of the Mussenden Temple. We even had sunburns.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/97b0ce63-8009-450c-8501-6e2f.jpg
However, there are no activities on these dates. The tourist office of Castlerock is really nice. A lovely person, I did not understand if she was a volunteer or a pensioner who greeted us and called for us the local taxi to take us to the hostel for a few euros. It was only a 30 minute walk down the road, but with suitcases and fatigue, the taxi was welcome. She gave us all the "timetable" for buses and maps for hikes and visits. The village must be crowded in high season, but in September we were alone. The taxi driver picked us up at the hostel at the end of the trip to get us back on time to catch the bus to Derry.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/b8b9a0a1-47ee-43b6-bddc-00eb.jpg
We went by school bus to Giant's Causeway. He passed right in front of the hotel.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/c1f6c1f8-d595-46d1-b215-2e91.jpg
A tip, get to the opening there will still be few tourists. The tour operators arriving later and you can enjoy a changing brightness. For our part we did not have a choice; there were only 2 buses during the day ... At the pavement of giants, the audioguide in French allows you to immerse yourself in geology and legend. We were able to take the time, and hike on the crest of the cliff (well-appointed and free trails). We rented a bike at the hostel "Finn McCool's" to join the suspension bridge of Carrick-a-Rede, and we stop at the option of the landscapes, ruins, centers of interests ... Cross the suspension bridge of Carrick-a -Rede costs around £ 6 per person.
Early morning departure for Derry. We had a 6 hour break before taking a bus back to Buncrana at the "Tullyarvan Mill hostel" which I also recommend. So we went for a walk on the ramparts, took a taxi to go around the murals of the catholic quarter of the bogside.
Then we went back to Derry to rent a car. The tour of the peninsula (Inishowen legacy trail) is 100 km, without a car, we were quickly limited.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/efcbb908-e027-4dfe-819c-02fe.jpg
The landscapes are beautiful, peaceful. The jagged coastline and the cliffs offer a spectacle that one never tires.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/e11d6e98-75c7-46ff-a447-dbf3.jpg
We spent a night in B & B at Malin Head, spent the evening at Farren's Bar and eating sea food.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/f3a594b1-a444-4c9c-8f55-90f5.jpg
We also visited the Doagh Famine village, very interesting to understand the way of life and especially the impact of the great famine (1845-1850) which decimated or pushed into exile nearly 1/4 of the population. Comments are available in French.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/7bbe5630-324e-4c4c-8838-86d7.jpg
Our next destination will be the Errigal Hostel, where
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/fa987a05-6b6c-4446-a117-167c.jpg
we will stay for 2 nights, time to climb Mount Errigal (breathtaking 360 ° view at the top) and stroll through the Glenveagh Nationalpark. 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/28edb72a-0e7a-4ea8-b983-1c43.jpg
Finding the starting point of Mount Errigal's climb is quite simple, but staying on the right path and not getting bogged down in the bog remains the first challenge. Continue on the stop before the summit when the wind gets up, the weather gets covered: that is the question. So look at the weather before you go, and put the rain ponchos in the bag; in Ireland, it can always be useful - that's what happened to us. We knew that the weather was unstable, but the weather was temporary. We sheltered and waited to continue our journey. Plan plastic bags in your shoes, and throw the socks ... Peat is tenacious, but this climb is worth it. 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/224774d4-7ae0-4069-bd0c-c19d.jpg
It was soon the end of our trip. Since we had already spent 5 days in Dublin 2 years ago, we chose to spend our last night in Portmarnock, by the sea and close to the airport and to walk in the park of Malahide Castle. Before leaving the next day. We booked an Airbnb. Our host also helped us to book the taxi to the airport.

Cost of the trip: 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/c72697df-f85c-4355-b47f-abff.jpg
The flight from Lyon with Aer Lingus cost us € 230
The car rental last minute in Derry cost us € 45 for 5 days. There was no hesitation. About 100 € with the full. 
The accomodations cost us about 60 € / nights for the hostels and 40 € / nights (lunch included) for the Airbnb.
The advantage of youth hostels are meetings, and the ability to prepare meals. Or 450 € for 10 nights
Transportation by taxi to Castlerock cost us less than £ 3 per trip. And each local trip averages £ 5 / person and each way (ie € 6).
The taxi in Derry took £ 15 to allow us a tour of the murals which lasted nearly 1 hour. About 50 € for these transports
The bus from Dublin Airport to Belfast about 20 € / person, same for buses from Derry to Belfast is 80 € for this stay
Bike rental 10 € for half a day by bike .
With visits, spending and pub nights, we spent about $ 1,500 for 2 for 11 days and 10 all inclusive nights.
The trip in pictures and other trips to Ireland on my blog
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-10-2019/3733c1ed-e578-4c9f-8c54-9272.jpg
we had 11j of sublime landscapes


Posted Fri 4 Oct 2019 1:37 PM
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Island of Ireland
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Hi Mumu,

What a trip!! 😍

I realy love all the details you shared here. This will for sure will be really helpful for many of our members on the planning stage. 

Ps: what type of camera do you have? Those pictures are just amazing, you have a great eye! 📸
Posted Sat 5 Oct 2019 2:17 PM
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France
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Thanks ,
Time before and time after  are travels too. :)
my camera is a compact digital.
Muriel



Posted Sun 6 Oct 2019 9:23 AM
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