July 14, 2018
The Keep B&B
On our first day in Ireland/Northern Ireland, I hadn’t slept for over 24 hours. Needless to say, I was a little out of it. But after our stop at Newgrange, we continued making our way north until we stopped at Carrickfergus. Instead of staying at an Airbnb, my friend had scheduled our first stop to be a Bed and Breakfast. I had never stayed at one before, even in America, so this was a new experience for me.
The couple that greeted us were extremely friendly and even help set up a guided tour in Belfast for us with a cab company [For some reason, we couldn’t get our phones to work when we dialed the number]. Although there was no air conditioning [as no one over there has it], the stay was extremely comfortable.
Leaving our stuff in our room, we decided to explore the town and search for a place to eat dinner. We didn’t have to walk far until we saw our first castle. Carrickfergus Castle.
It was pretty interesting to walk up to the castle and the first thing we see is a couple getting their wedding photos taken. As we tried our best to avoid them, we noticed a sign that stated we needed to go to the shop to buy a ticket to explore the castle. Not knowing where it was, we walked around the city a bit, attempting to find it.
When we still couldn’t find the shop, we walked back to the castle and decided to try and walk around it anyway. Turns out, the shop was just a little further into the castle. All of us had a V8 moment.
We bought our tickets and explored the area. The view from the castle walls was incredible and it was interesting to see how they had turned rooms into mini-museums to show you what the castle had been used for over time. There was even a little archery lesson out on the grounds that we got to try [I still prefer my compound bow…way more powerful].
If I’m being completely honest, I only remember bits and pieces of the castle and the walk around town. Again, I was running on zero sleep. I was able to fall asleep in the car a little bit when we were driving up, but it wasn’t enough. But I do remember feeling breathless when I looked over the walls to see the view. It was beautiful.
The people who worked in the shop within the castle were extremely friendly and super helpful. They handed us a couple of maps, and showed us the best way to travel to avoid tourists and see everything we wanted to see. Two of the maps contained the Game of Thrones filming locations and they told us the best way to get to them and the best times. I am useless with a map and directions. Thankfully, the others in my group were able to understand everything they were saying and took the advice to heart.
After we ate dinner at a small restaurant down the street, one of my friends wanted to go to Tesco. We determined that Tesco was their version of Walmart. And she loved it. it was pretty cool. She bought the things she needed, and I got a travel size hair straightener. Without a hair straightener, my hair looks like a frizzy mess…and it’s only worse now that I have short hair.
The hair straightener never worked. My hair poofed the moment I walked outside every time.
After such a fun and long day, I passed out at 8. Hard.
The next morning, we woke up early for a delicious breakfast from our hosts. It was so delicious, I’m sad I didn’t ask for a second helping. While we waited for the freshly cooked breakfast, there was yogurt and cereal for us to eat. I saw the healthy stuff next to CoCo Puffs. You can guess which one I ate.
When a plate was set in front of me, I was skeptical at first. A piece of bread with a poached egg on top with potato cakes, sausage, and bacon. I had never had a poached egg before, and being a picky eater, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But I wasn’t about to be rude. I was determined to each as much as I could off of the plate no matter what.
The poached egg was the most delicious egg I had ever eaten in my life. I devoured it, along with the potato cakes. No one for pork, I only ate a few bites of the bacon and sausage. They weren’t bad at all, but just not my thing. Although I didn’t lick the plate clean, I ate most of the food.
While we ate, a British couple came down with their friends and toddler. We were all enamored by the little girl as she ate her food. As her mother helped her eat, she asked where we were headed. They were very kind as well, giving us ideas of places we should visit.
Should you ever go to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, I would highly recommend The Keep B&B.
Once we were finished with breakfast, we packed up and continued our trip to Belfast.
Which is a story for another day…