2017-12-27 A month ago, I visited Riga the capital of Latvia, also the largest city in the Baltics. I was supposed to spend more time in Riga, but unfortunately, my trip started off with a delayed flight, so I missed several hours. But as soon as I landed I was sure to make the best of my trip and so I did. I started off early in the morning with a tour around the city to navigate myself, but also to learn more about this medieval city. For once, the first Christmas tree was dressed in the city already in year 1510, cool. Riga was a part of the Swedish empire from 1629 to 1721 and I could find some traces from this period, for example the Swedish Gate, which was a gate opened in the facade of a house for the soldiers to pass through instead of having to walk around the city walls.
Riga is not the biggest of cities, but with so much history. The visit gave me more than I thought to begin with and I would really recommend a visit to this fascinating city. Don’t miss out on the Art Nouveau/ Jugend area of the city, the buildings are totally awesome, many of them are designed by the local architect Mikhail Eisenstein. It’s so much worth walking around the marvelous buildings and absorb the history of this city.
At the Swedish Gate in Riga.
An amazing staircase in the Art Nouveau district of Riga.
St Peter’s Church. Before WW2 this church was the tallest wooden building in Europe. It has also been struck by lightning 6 times before they changed the roof.
From The Art Nouveau district of Riga, a building designed by Mikhail Eisenstein.
In the city they have 5 old zeppelin hangars where they today have meat, fruit, fish and flower markets.
2017-12-26 The second part of the day was also packed with great sites to see and amazing nature. I did something I never thought I would dare to do, I crossed the Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge which was built by local fishermen over 350 years ago. It’s located near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below and I crossed it!
To get to the bridge I had to walk a bit, but don’t forget to enjoy the great views around you. Be prepared for a long walk that ends with quite a steep path. Walking back from the bridge was a bit harder than going there because of all the uphill walking, but I survived and got back to the other side.
Don’t forget to enjoy the view! The next stop for the day was the cosy town of Cushendun where a scen for Game of Thornes was shot.
In this cave, the red priestess Melisandre gave birth to the shadow creature in front of Davos in Game of Thrones season 2. This is the same creature that ultimately killed Renly. Such a cool place to have seen!
A great picture of the lovely town of Cushendun. I’m so happy about this day trip around Northern Ireland. I got to see and explore so much more than I ever thought. We finished off the day with a visit to Belfast where I got to visit a very cosy Christmas fair and enjoy the temperature of this amazing city. I really recommend a visit to the island of Ireland, both the Irish and the british part of the island. The nature is amazing! When I was there in mid-December, the temperature was about +12 degrees celsius and I had not even a drop of rain, which is quite marvellous for beeing Ireland. If you wish to visit a lot of the sites where turists go, I would recommend down-season so that you don’t have to throng with a lot of people.
2017-12-26 The third day I spent almost only in Northern Ireland where I got to see some amazing sites, beatiful works of nature (or giants) and shooting places from the Game of Thrones. We started with a visit to the Dark Hedges where they shoot scenes for The Game of Thrones.
This is the original scen from the series. It is the ”King’s Road” out of King’s Landing in Game of Thornes.
Here I’m standing in the middle of the Dark Hedges.
We then continued on with a little photo stop in Bushmills where we got to see the Danluce castle that was the seat of House Greyjoy, the great castle of Pyke in Game of Thrones.
The Danluce castle. After seeing the beautiful view of Danluce castle we went to the Giant’s Causeway. This place was something extra and not at all what I expected. The way the stones were formed is really puzzling and I’m so very happy I have been able to visit this place and walk on these stones.
A picture on me before I started the breathtaking way to see the Giant’s Causeway.
Just have a look at these stones. Were they made by nature or a giant as the tale tells?
It’s amazing to have been here and to have been walking around this beautiful place. Be prepared to walk quite a bit to get to the Giant’s Causeway, but it’s so worth it because the scenery to get there it breathtaking, so don’t forget to enjoy it a little! After walking around on all the stones and enjoyed the great views I had a little lunch break looking out of the bay. After walking the whole way back to ”dry land” I enjoyed a hot chocolate at the local café.
2017-12-26 The second day in Ireland I got up early to join a tour around the west of Ireland. I had the fortune of meeting Alanna, a traveler from Minnesota, in Dublin for a couple of days. After talking a bit we realised that she was of Swedish orogin, so I got to teach her some small Swedish words and hopefully evoked a feeling of wanting to know more about her Swedish past.
Me and Alanna at the Cliffs of Moher. We started of with a visit to the very picturesque town of Kinvara in the Galway Bay in Ireland where we got to see some really beautiful houses and a great view of the bay.
A picture of me and in the back you have the Dunguaire Castle.
The Galway Bay
The houses in Kinvara are amazing! We continued on along the cost towards The cliffs of Moher, but made a quick stop at the Baby Cliffs.
Me at the Baby Cliffs shot by Alanna. When we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher I was totally stunned about the work of nature. These cliffs are totally amazing and I’m so happy I got to see them. If you go visit, you have to be prepared to walk quite a bit and there are many steps and passages that lead you along the cliffs.
Me at the Cliffs of Moher and in the background you see O’Brien’s Tower.
The Cliffs of Moher.
The cliffs of Moher and O’Brien’s Tower on the top.
Me posing at the gate of O’Brien’s Tower at the Cliffs of Moher. After the visit to the beautiful Cliffs of Moher the trip continued to the Bunratty Castle and we had something small to eat before we traveled back to Dublin. Back in Dublin me and Alanna went to a Irish restaurant in Temple bar and ended the day with a traditinal Guinness!
Finished off the day with a stop at The Temple Bar in the area of Temple bar.
The week before Christmas I visited Ireland and Northeren Ireland for a couple of days to discover the beautiful landscape on this amazing island. I must say this trip has been one of the best of this year and the landscape was better than I could’ve expected before I came.
I arrived lated than it was planned due to a delayed flight from Copenhagen, but when I stepped foot our of Dublin I got picked up by the happiest and most helpfull taxi driver ever. He gave me a lot of information about the city and explained the English and Irish signs that you could see all trough the roads.
When I got to the hotel I was met by the most helpfull staff at The Harding Hotel that helped me with taxi bookings, breakfast packings (had very earlie mornings) and were just so very nice. I had a great view from my room over Dublin Christ Church. The room was very small, but still super convenient for just a couple of days in the city. The location very close to Temple Bar was perfect.
Dublin Christ Church (my view from my hotel room) The first evening I had a walk around Dublin and had a bite to eat in the area of Temple Bar.