Monday was to be the first time I went to a destination I was told to head to. However, it did not work out. I left too late from Belfast to go to Carrickfergus, an old castle. I should have left about 5 hours earlier instead of at 3:00 PM as when I arrived there (it was a 2-bus trip), they literally just turned off the lights of the castle. *sigh* I ended up walking around the castle and taking some pictures. I also took a picture of a mine that had been pulled out of the sea near the castle (there was a plaque in front of it explaining). I knew that from then on, I'd have to leave early (even though my host usually doesn't wake up until about 10 AM).
For Tuesday, after doing my laundry, I'd arranged for a therapeutic massage from someone I'd met online. His office was about 3 miles from where I was staying, so rather than taking the buses, I walked the 3 miles to him. I'd given myself an hour to get there, and boy was that good exercise. After a 90-minute session, I felt even better. The masseur and I were going to have some lunch, but it was not to be as he got a last-minute call for a massage session at 3:00. I ended up catching a bus near his office and went to Belfast City Centre, where I saw the holiday crafts fair I'll describe later on.
Wednesday morning, I left early, took the bus to the Europa Buscentre (the central bus station) and ended up getting a 1-day multi-zone bus pass (can you say souvenir?) so that I could go across quite a bit of the country. I took the bus to the Giants Causeway (with only one transfer, at Coleraine). When I got to the Causeway, I realize you have a choice: you can either go into the visitor's center and pay £8.95 for that and extra for an audio tour of the Causeway, or you I could just go and walk it and discover it for myself, which is what I did. Granted, it's about a kilometer down, but I figured I could use the exercise and the fresh air and it turned out to be a lot more fun that way. The walk was down a good enough grade that I realized I'd have problems getting back up at a decent pace, so with the bus pass, I took the bus back up. I got some pictures what I think was the entire area, and had some other tourists take some pictures of me part of the way down and in the "Wishing Chair," which is one of the geological formations there. See, for those who haven't seen it before, the main geological feature of the area is all the hexagonally-shaped columns which form certain items, like the Wishing Chair or the Organ. The rest of the area is shaped like items like an onion, a camel, Finn McCool sleeping, that sort of thing.
By not spending a whole lot of time at the Causeway, I found I had about 50 minutes before the next bus would come to take me back to Coleraine, so I went into the only eatery by the Causeway, a pub called The Nook at the Causeway. It's built in what used to be an old schoolhouse. Never really having partaken of "pub grub," I looked at the menu, chose a tomato & basil soup and an all-Irish cheeseburger for lunch (with water). The soup was delicious; the cheeseburger hit the spot (especially considering that I'd not had much for breakfast about 6 hours previously). Granted it was a bit pricey, but I felt I was worth it to experience pub grub for once. I took a bunch of pictures inside the pub and promised to send one of the two people not in the kitchen to the pub. I'll also send a CD with the other pictures. I also put a review of the pub up on TripAdvisor (my first).
The only bad side to the trip was at the Coleraine bus station. It seems that a schoolgirl got into more than just a tussle with another schoolgirl, for what reason, I don't know, but it appeared as if the first was going to push the second into one of the windows at the bus station. I yelled at the first girl to stop, threatening to call the police, which I did. The second girl, however, didn't want to talk to the police and instead talked to a staff person at the bus station. I went on back to Belfast.