Northern Ireland: ...I'd feel too bad making jokes about this.
I was really excited to go to Northern Ireland since I heard about it. I never really knew what happened in Northern Ireland until I spent 40 class hours learning about it. It's super complicated and messy and the fact there is a ceasefire is amazing.
Politics aside, Belfast was OK. It has a totally different feel than Dublin. High Rise buildings, all grey brick, it feel more like an American city than Ireland. (Well, technically it's not Ireland, but you know what I mean). The political murals were equal parts inspiring and terrifying and the fact that the Troubles were only ended 10 years ago is equal numbing.
One non-depressing, super awesome thing is WE SAW WHERE THE TITANIC WAS BUILT. Like, inside the buildings! So sweet! As they say in Belfast: "There was nothing wrong with it when it left here!".
Things then got somber again going to Derry/Londonderry and seeing the murals and memorials to The Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday. The Bloody Sunday Museum was especially poignant with the the sister of one of the boys killed runs the Museum and gave a talk to our group. She was recently in the news because her and the other families of the Bloody Sunday victims were invited to a formal apology by the British Prime Minister for the actions of the British police on that day after findings that the protesters weren't a threat to anyone's safety.
I apologize if a lot of this is foreign or unfamiliar with anyone. I don't think I can do a summation of the history of the Northern Ireland Tensions justice. However, if you're interesting in History, Politics, or Current Events, it's worth a look. A really interesting case of sectarian hate and tensions between ethno-religious boundaries.
On a happier note WE THEN WENT TO A CASTLE! IT WAS SWEET!
The Carrickfergus castle in Carrickfergus, to be exact. It was a castle, and it was dope.
That brings us up to now, sort of!