I am back from my mid-semester break, and let me just tell you that was the most amazing experience I’ve had while studying abroad. As I mentioned in the last post, this trip consisted of Northern Ireland, but I made a little trip to Scotland as well.
So it’s no surprise that the Game of Thrones (GoT) tour in Belfast was amazing. But to make things better, I got lucky and they included 2 non GoT sites in the tour. These were the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giants Causeway along the Antrim coast of Ireland. This 8 hour tour was the highlight of my mid-semester break and here’s why:
After a day in the city of Belfast, I hopped on a bus and headed to the northern coast. With a drive full of castles, harbours and long stretches of the beautiful coast, I was having the time of my life.
However, one location that really stole my heart was the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Antrim County, Northern Ireland. The Carrick-a-Rede links the mainland of Ireland to a small island called Carrickarede. Fishermen would use the bridge to get to the island for a better fishing spot, however, now it is a huge tourist attraction.
The tour also included The Giants Causeway and the Dark Hedges. The Giants Causeway is a rock formation formed by underground volcanic activity. The Dark Hedges is a beautiful road with trees on each side and intertwining branches. These were both very special sights, and nothing like I have seen before.
After leaving Northern Ireland, I headed to Scotland to see Edinburgh once again, and also to make my way up the east coast to Aberdeen. Edinburgh was just as beautiful as the first time and I was able to catch an unforgettable sunset from one of the hills in town. Catching that sunset was almost like I was seeing Edinburgh for the very first time. There was a new array of colors to the city and sky. I also spent a day in North Berwick, a small beach town to the east of Edinburgh.
As for Aberdeen, this Victorian city was nothing short of incredible with its beautiful architecture and stunning beaches. However, the highlight of my trip to Aberdeen was surfing the North Sea. Most people in Great Britain would think I was insane for even attempting this. But with the proper equipment, the water was not any colder than when surfing in the beautiful beach of Carmel on the central coast of California.
Overall this trip was one of the most significant travel experiences I’ve had yet. Not just because of the locations, but also because I was traveling alone. Though at first I was uneasy about my solo trip, I quickly became comfortable with the idea and appreciated being on my own for once. This adventure not only brought me amazing experiences and sights, but I also learned so much about myself. I can honestly say that studying abroad through the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) is becoming one of the most pivotal decisions I’ve made in my life.
(P.S. If you would like to see the rest of my pictures I will be posting them on my Facebook page soon.)