Scotland, Giants, St. Patrick’s Day and a bunch of other stories!

Hi everyone!

I seriously don’t even know where to start. Maybe a genuine apology would be a great way to begin this blogpost. I realise it has been a couple of months and I cannot really understand why I haven’t written in such a long time, but I guess I got lost in my life in Belfast and a part of me didn’t want to think about Belgium anymore… So that might be one of the reasons I wasn’t able to get a single word on paper (WordPress). But I couldn’t stay away forever, so next up: a summary of all the good craic I’ve had in NI so far!

Hairy coos and Nessie

As you might have seen on Facebook already, Lisa, Jozefien, Helen and I went on a trip in a trip to… Scotland! If I hadn’t lost my heart to Belfast already, the first place I would go searching for it is Edinburgh. My word, what a beautiful city! I was so delighted to finally arrive in the land of kilts, bagpipes and the Monster of Loch Ness. Now, that was partly because I was kind of dying on the ferry. Boats and I don’t go well together and of course I had to get seasick on that stupid ferry. After two hours of pure hell we got on the bus to Edinburgh! Ancient, well-preserved and historical are probably the right key-words to describe the capital city of Scotland. When we got there, it was already late in the evening so as soon as we got to our hostel, we jumped into our beds.
The next morning we woke up because a certain Chinese person was making weird dinosaur noises. Helen, of course. She wasn’t so keen on getting up early haha (Helen, if you read this: you know I love you). Anyways. On our first day we went to explore the city and found some interesting spots such as an old graveyard (creepy describes it more accurately to be honest), a fountain and a castle upon a hill. Edinburgh castle, which we would visit on our last full day in the city. Nice experience and very historical. I loved it! If you ever visit Edinburgh, the castle is a must-see!
The best part of our little trip to Scotland was definitely the Highlands tour we booked via The Hairy Coo. Not an actual cow, but a company that organises magnificent tours around Scotland. Highly recommended (well now I’m starting to sound like I’m in a commercial haha) as well as very interesting. So, we saw a big part of the Highlands, including Loch Ness. I mean, I am very sorry to say this, but I was a bit disappointed. It’s really just a lake. And no Nessie! I want my money back… No kidding, it was still amazing!

Finn McCool and his stones 

I am not going to explain the legend of Finn here, but here’s a link to it if you are interested 🙂

The link also provides some information about the Giant’s Causeway as it explains how the stones were formed in that specific shape.

Trip to the Causeway and the rope bridge

The Giant’s Causeway is Ireland’s number one tourist attraction and well, let me just say: it deserves the top spot on that list! I knew Northern-Ireland would be pretty and I knew the nature had to be great… but I wasn’t prepared for the Causeway or the Carrick-a-rede-ropebridge. My word, fantastic! Here are some pictures, because words are not even necessary.
Oh and by the way: thank you Lucy and Adam for having organised this amazing trip! It was a splendid day 🙂

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17th of March – Belfast turned green 

Woohoo! 17th of March, that can only mean one thing! No, not that hot line bling (wow, that was a bad joke. FYI: I’m writing this in the middle of the night, so excuse me for the bad humour). I’m talking about St. Patrick’s day of course! He is the Saint of Northern-Ireland and the symbol that took over the city that day was, obviously, the Shamrock, which is a three-leaf-clover. St. Patrick used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to his people.
Belfast went a little crazy on this day, with a great parade, drunk people everywhere and a lot of music and booze. I mean, I loved it, but I’d also never seen something like that. It was quite the experience (hence the following pictures):

Easter holidays – family time 

So, I skipped the part in between St. Paddy’s and the Easter holidays, because I can’t really remember anything spectacular that happened then. Anyways, the holidays started off pretty chaotically. I moved out of the Halls and into an apartment with Jakub (our Polish Erasmus friend), Lisa and Neil (the locals). Once I was settled completely, I started working for school, both for Stranmillis and my home university. The first two weeks (yes, I had three weeks of holidays, hehe) flew by pretty quickly. I didn’t really mind, though, because my parents and brother finally arrived in Belfast! Hooray! We had a lot of fun and stayed in an apartment near the Titanic Museum. It was lovely and the view over the water and straight to Titanic was amazing.
A list of the things we did together:

  • Titanic Museum
  • Giant’s Causeway tour
  • Cavehill and Belfast Castle
  • Belfast city centre exploring
  • Eating a lot haha
  • Enjoying our time together

Honestly, it was weird when they left and went home again… because I stayed and it felt like I was being left behind. I was so happy to have my family around for some time again, but as soon as they left, I kind of started to count down the days until I have to leave Belfast. Alright, I might be a bit homesick, I admit it 😉

So, this was part 1 of my big catching up blogpost! Part 2 will be about teaching practice, the Mourne Mountains, Portrush Beach and Londonderry (Derry).


Hugs and kisses 😀





Auteur: evagijsen

My name is Eva Gijsen. I'm 20 years old and I'm studying to become an English and Dutch teacher. In January I'm going to Belfast to complete my studies. You can follow my adventures right here!

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