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HI, I'M RICK STEVES,
BACK WITH MORE OF THE BEST OF EUROPE.
THIS TIME WE'RE REALLY ON THE EDGE.
STAY WITH US AS WE EXPLORE THE BEST OF NORTHERN IRELAND.
AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, NO TRIP TO IRELAND IS REALLY COMPLETE
WITHOUT VISITING NORTHERN IRELAND.
SURE, IT'S HAD ITS TROUBLES,
AND WE'LL CHECK OUT SOME POWERFUL POLITICAL SIGHTS.
BUT THERE'S SO MUCH MORE.
NORTHERN IRELAND COMES WITH THE SAME FRIENDLY PEOPLE
AND LUSH SCENERY
YOU'D EXPECT TO FIND ANYWHERE ON THE EMERALD ISLE,
AND THERE'S NO TOURIST CROWDS.
WE'LL TOUR BUSTLING BELFAST, SNEAK A PEAK
AT ITS MORE POLITICIZED SECTARIAN NEIGHBORHOODS,
GO WILD IN THE ULSTER CONEY ISLAND
AND TASTE-TEST IRISH WHISKEY.
WE'LL SCRAMBLE OVER SOME SIX-SIDED GEOLOGY,
TEE OFF ON A WORLD-CLASS GOLF COURSE
AND STOMP OUR FEET TO SOME TRADITIONAL MUSIC.
NORTHERN IRELAND IS PART OF A GROUP OF ISLANDS
CALLED THE BRITISH ISLES
AND PART OF A POLITICAL ENTITY CALLED THE UNITED KINGDOM.
THE EMERALD ISLE IS COMPRISED OF
THE INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
AND NORTHERN IRELAND.
THE NORTHERN REGION IS ALSO CALLED ULSTER.
FROM THE CAPITAL, BELFAST,
WE TRAVEL TO FUN-LOVING PORTRUSH
TO THE ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE CITY OF DERRY
AND ENJOY ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE ANTRIM COAST.
HERE IN NORTHERN IRELAND SIGHT-SEEING MAKES MORE SENSE
WITH A LITTLE BACKGROUND.
ALL OF IRELAND WAS ONCE RULED BY BRITAIN.
BUT THE IRISH DIDN'T ASSIMILATE QUITE ACCORDING TO PLAN.
WHILE BRITAIN WAS PROTESTANT, MOST OF THE IRISH WERE CATHOLIC,
AND WITH THESE RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES
CAME A DEEP-SEATED CULTURAL DIVIDE.
TO HELP BOLSTER ITS CONTROL, LONDON PLANTED SETTLERS,
PROTESTANT SETTLERS MOSTLY FROM SCOTLAND.
THESE PEOPLE BECAME THE SCOTS-IRISH,
THE DOMINANT ETHNIC GROUP IN NORTH IRELAND TODAY.
BUT CENTURIES OF BRITISH RULE LED TO STRIFE.
IN THE 1920s, AFTER A BLOODY WAR,
MOST OF IRELAND BECAME AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY,
CATHOLIC AND RULED FROM DUBLIN.
BUT THE NORTH, WITH ITS PROTESTANT MAJORITY,
OPTED TO STAY WITH BRITAIN.
AND THE ISLAND REMAINS DIVIDED TO THIS DAY.
YOU'LL SEE SYMBOLS OF THAT DIVISION
THROUGHOUT NORTHERN IRELAND.
PROTESTANT ORANGE PARADES ARE COMMON.
SEVERAL THOUSAND A YEAR DURING MARCHING SEASON,
BETWEEN EASTER AND EARLY SEPTEMBER,
FILL THE STREETS WITH SECTARIAN PAGEANTRY.
WHILE 90% OF THESE PARADE THROUGH PROTESTANT TOWNS
AND ARE, THEREFORE, PEACEFUL, A FEW ARE ANTAGONISTIC,
MARCHING THROUGH CATHOLIC TOWNS AND NEIGHBORHOODS.
FAR MORE POLITICAL THAN YOUR AVERAGE PARADE,
THESE ARE LIKE PEP RALLIES FOR THE CAUSE
OF CONTINUED UNION WITH BRITAIN...
...A CHANCE FOR PARENTS
TO SHARE THEIR POLITICAL PASSIONS WITH THEIR KIDS.
[ drum pattern ]
THE LONG-ESTABLISHED ORANGE ORDER
WORKS TO DEFEND THE UNION WITH BRITAIN,
SO THEIR POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IS UNIONIST.
ORANGE IS THE TEAM COLOR AND THE UNION JACK IS ITS FLAG.
THIS IS COUNTERED ON THE CATHOLIC SIDE
BY NATIONALISTS AND REPUBLICANS,
PEOPLE WHO WANT THE ENTIRE ISLAND
TO BE ONE NATION.
THEIR COLOR IS GREEN AND THEY FLY THE IRISH FLAG.
IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND, THERE'S NO QUESTION,
CATHOLICS RULE.
BUT HERE IN THE PROTESTANT DOMINATED NORTH,
THE CATHOLICS, WITH OVER A THIRD OF THE POPULATION,
ARE JUST TOO BIG A MINORITY TO IGNORE.
IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN CONTROL,
PROTESTANTS EMPLOYED POLICIES WHICH WERE TOUGH ON CATHOLICS.
THIS ESCALATED TENSIONS WHICH LED TO THE TROUBLES,
WHICH HAVE FILLED HEADLINES AROUND HERE
SINCE THE LATE 1960s.
AS PROTESTANTS AND CATHOLICS CLASHED,
THE BRITISH ARMY ENTERED THE FRAY
AND THEY'VE BEEN HERE EVER SINCE.
THANKFULLY, REAL PROGRESS TOWARD PEACE HAS BEEN MADE RECENTLY
AND, WHILE YOU STILL DON'T WANT TO SING PROTESTANT SONGS
IN A CATHOLIC PUB LIKE THIS, OR VICE VERSA,
NORTHERN IRELAND HAS BECOME A GREAT PLACE TO VISIT.
BELFAST, JUST A COUPLE HOURS NORTH OF DUBLIN,
STRADDLES THE LAGAN RIVER.
IT WAS ONLY A VILLAGE IN THE 17th CENTURY.
BUT WITH THE INFLUX OF SCOTTISH AND ENGLISH SETTLERS
AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION,
WHICH TOOK ROOT WITH A VENGEANCE HERE,
BELFAST BOOMED.
WHILE THE REST OF IRELAND
REMAINED RURAL AND AGRICULTURAL,
BELFAST WAS NICKNAMED OLD SMOKE.
SHIPBUILDING WAS HUGE.
THIS SLIPWAY WAS THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE "TITANIC"
AND MANY SHIPS THAT DIDN'T SINK.
THE NEIGHBORING DRY DOCK IS WHERE THAT ILL-FATED SHIP,
THE BIGGEST MAN-MADE MOVING OBJECT OF ITS DAY,
WAS OUTFITTED.
NEARBY, TWO HUGE CRANES, ONCE THE BIGGEST IN THE WORLD,
NICKNAMED SAMSON AND GOLIATH,
RISE LIKE SKYSCRAPERS ABOVE THE HARBOR,
ANOTHER REMINDER OF THIS TOWN'S FORMER SHIPBUILDING MIGHT.
IN 1888, QUEEN VICTORIA GRANTED CITY STATUS
TO THIS BOOMTOWN OF 300,000, AND SOON AFTER,
ITS CITIZENS BUILT BELFAST'S CENTERPIECE, CITY HALL.
WITH ITS STATUE OF QUEEN VICTORIA
SCOWLING DOWN BELFAST'S MAIN DRAG
AND THE UNION JACK FLAPPING BEHIND HER,
IT'S A STIRRING SIGHT.
QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY
IS ALSO FROM THE ILLUSTRIOUS REIGN OF VICTORIA.
ITS BACKYARD IS AN INVITING PUBLIC PARK,
PARTICULARLY RELAXING ON A SUNNY SUMMER AFTERNOON.
THE PALM HOUSE,
AN EARLY EXAMPLE OF AN IRON AND GLASS GREENHOUSE
DATING FROM THE MID-1800s,
GIVES YOU A LUSH AND HUMID JUNGLE EXPERIENCE
RIGHT IN BELFAST.
ALSO IN THE GARDEN IS THE ULSTER MUSEUM,
THE CITY'S ONE MAJOR MUSEUM.
YOU'LL FIND A FASCINATING MADE-IN-BELFAST EXHIBIT
UNDER AN ARCH PROCLAIMING,
"TRADE IS THE GOLDEN GIRDLE OF THE GLOBE."
EXHIBITS EXPLAIN HOW BELFAST THRIVED IN ITS GLORY DAYS.
THE LINEN INDUSTRY EMPLOYED THOUSANDS.
BELFAST WORKERS MADE PRODUCTS FROM FLAX,
LIKE CANVAS AND ROPE,
WHICH CONTRIBUTED MIGHTILY TO MARITIME COMMERCE.
MASSIVE SHIPS, MADE IN BELFAST,
WERE COMMONPLACE FROM SEATTLE TO SHANGHAI.
IT FEELS LIKE A NEW MORNING IN BELFAST.
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE
THAT THIS BRIGHT AND BUSTLING COMMERCIAL CENTER
WAS ONCE A TENSE AND SUBDUED SECURITY ZONE.
TODAY THERE'S NO HINT OF SECURITY CHECKS,
NOT LONG AGO A TIRESOME DAILY ROUTINE.
STILL, IT'S A FRAGILE PEACE, ESPECIALLY EVIDENT
IN THE WORKING-CLASS CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT NEIGHBORHOODS.
MEAN-SPIRITED MURALS AND PUBS WITH SECURITY GATES
ARE REMINDERS THAT THE ISLAND IS SPLIT,
AND A DWINDLING,
YET STILL SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF EXTREMISTS
PREFER IT THAT WAY.
THESE FLAG-WAVING HOTBEDS OF THE TROUBLES
HAVE BECOME TOURIST ATTRACTIONS TO MANY CURIOUS VISITORS.
THE BEST WAY TO GET AROUND BELFAST IS BY CAB.
AND YOUR RIDE CAN COME WITH AN EDUCATION.
FOR A REASONABLE HOURLY FEE,
MANY CABBIES GIVE VISITORS IMPROMPTU TOURS.
MY GUIDE, NORMAN, IS SHARING SOME PERSONAL INSIGHTS.
NORMAN, CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME JUST IN GENERAL
ABOUT SECTARIAN NEIGHBORHOODS?
SECTARIAN NEIGHBORHOODS
ARE WITHIN THE WORKING-CLASS AREAS
AND THE WORKING-CLASS AREAS ONLY,
WHERE THEY KEEP DIVIDED BECAUSE OF, WELL,
THE HATRED FOR EACH OTHER AND, OF COURSE,
WHAT THEY'VE DONE TO EACH OTHER
THROUGH TERRORISM.
FALLS ROAD IS A WELL-KNOWN REPUBLICAN STRONGHOLD
IN THE WEST PART OF BELFAST.
SO THIS IS A CATHOLIC NEIGHBORHOOD, THEN, HUH?
WELL, IT'S MORE RENOWNED FOR BEING REPUBLICAN
RATHER THAN JUST CATHOLIC.
OKAY.
SO WHY IS IT SO FAMOUS?
BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF TROUBLE THAT HAPPENED HERE
BETWEEN THE IRA AND THE BRITISH SOLDIERS
AND THE POLICE FORCE AND SO ON.
IT FEELS SAFE TODAY.
WELL, THINGS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
BUT THERE ARE THESE SYMBOLS OF THE SECTARIANISM
THAT STILL ARE STRONG, AREN'T THEY?
VERY STRONG AND WILL REMAIN TO BE STRONG
BECAUSE OF THE BACKGROUNDS WITHIN THE CONFLICT.
MURALS ARE AN ART FORM
AND THEY COME WITH A STRONG POLITICAL MESSAGE.
IRELAND WILL RISE LIKE A PHOENIX,
IRELAND SHOULD BE FREE AND UNITED, AND SO ON.
POLICE STATIONS STAND LIKE FORTRESSES.
AND EVERYWHERE IN THIS CATHOLIC NEIGHBORHOOD,
THE REPUBLICAN CAUSE IS HONORED.
AN IMPORTANT STOP ALONG FALLS ROAD IS THE MILL TOWN CEMETERY,
WHERE GAELIC CROSSES ALLOW CATHOLIC REPUBLICANS
TO MAKE A STATEMENT IN DEATH
AND WHERE IRA FIGHTERS
ARE BURIED WITH THE HONOR OF FALLEN SOLDIERS.
Rick: SO TELL ME ABOUT THIS.
IT'S A CATHOLIC CEMETERY
WITH ALSO SOME REPUBLICAN ATTACHMENT TO IT,
A LOT OF REPUBLICAN PEOPLE BURIED,
AS WELL AS CATHOLICS, OF COURSE.
AND THIS IS A TYPICAL CROSS, WITH IRISH DESIGN ON, OF COURSE,
WHICH IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT,
SHOWING A TYPICAL IRISH BACKGROUND.
THE MOST VISITED GRAVESITE HERE,
SET APART BY LITTLE GREEN RAILINGS,
COMMEMORATES IRA HEROES.
AMONG MANY OTHERS, IT REMEMBERS BOBBY SANDS
AND NINE OTHER HUNGER STRIKERS.
THEY STARVED THEMSELVES TO DEATH IN A NEARBY PRISON
IN 1981.
THEY WANTED TO BE TREATED AS POLITICAL PRISONERS
RATHER THAN CRIMINAL TERRORISTS.
Norman: IT HASN'T ALWAYS BEEN CATHOLICS AGAINST PROTESTANTS.
IT'S BEEN PEOPLE OF MORE THE EXTREMISTS
WITHIN THE RELIGIONS
WHERE THE MODERATE, BOTH CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANTS,
HAVE NOT SUPPORTED THE ACTIONS
OF EITHER LOYALISM OR REPUBLICANISM.
LOYALISTS ARE THE EXTREMISTS OF PROTESTANTS.
REPUBLICANS ARE THE EXTREMISTS OF CATHOLICS.
SO THE MODERATE PARTIES ARE KNOWN AS UNIONISTS,
WHICH ARE MODERATE PROTESTANTS,
AND NATIONALISTS, WHICH ARE MODERATE CATHOLICS.
SO THERE ARE A LOT OF MODERATES, ACTUALLY,
THAT AREN'T AT EACH OTHER'S THROATS?
THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN NORTHERN IRELAND
ARE THE MODERATES.
A BLEAK WALL SEPARATES THE CATHOLIC REPUBLICANS
OF THE FALLS ROAD AREA
FROM THE PROTESTANT LOYALISTS IN THE SHANKILL ROAD AREA.
IT'S CALLED THE PEACE LINE
BECAUSE WITHOUT IT THERE'D BE NO PEACE.
BUT PROGRESS IS BEING MADE.
IN A PROMISING CHANGE, AFTER 30 YEARS OF BEING CLOSED,
THIS GATE IS NOW OPEN,
CONNECTING THE TWO NEIGHBORHOODS.
FOR A SAMPLING OF UNIONIST PASSION,
YOU CAN EXPLORE THIS WORKING- CLASS PROTESTANT NEIGHBORHOOD.
MURALS ON SHANKILL ROAD PROMOTE THE UNIONIST OR LOYALIST CAUSE.
THERE'S LOTS OF SYMBOLISM.
EVERY TIME I VISIT,
LOCALS STRESS IT'S NOT PROTESTANTS FIGHTING CATHOLICS;
IT'S EXTREMIST LOYALISTS, WHO HAPPEN TO BE PROTESTANT,
FIGHTING EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS, WHO HAPPEN TO BE CATHOLIC.
THESE EXTREMISTS ARE THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE PROUD TO LIVE IN SECTARIAN NEIGHBORHOODS,
AND IT'S THESE EXTREMISTS WHO FAN THE PERSISTENT FLAMES
OF IRELAND'S TROUBLES.
THE BIG HOPE NOW IS FOR A NEW GENERATION TO BE RAISED
WITHOUT THE EXTREMISM OF THE PAST.
CHILDREN PLAYING TOGETHER HERE
ARE BOTH CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS,
PART OF A SUMMER-CAMP PROGRAM
GIVING KIDS FROM BOTH COMMUNITIES
REASONS TO LIVE TOGETHER RATHER THAN APART.
ABOUT AN HOUR'S DRIVE FROM BELFAST
TAKES US TO NORTHERN IRELAND'S FAVORITE RESORT, PORTRUSH.
THIS IS THE PLAYGROUND OF ULSTER
AND AN IDEAL BASE
FOR EXPLORING THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ANTRIM COAST.
PORTRUSH HAS LONG BEEN THE CONEY ISLAND
OF IRELAND'S NORTH.
ITS ARCHITECTURE RETAINS THE ATMOSPHERE
OF A GENTEEL SEASIDE RESORT.
PORTRUSH FILLS ITS PENINSULA
WITH FAMILY-ORIENTED AMUSEMENTS...
...FUN EATERIES...
...AND CHEAP AND CHEERY BED AND BREAKFASTS.
SUMMERTIME FUN SEEKERS PROMENADE ALONG THE TOY HARBOR
AND TUMBLE DOWN TO THE SANDY BEACHES,
WHICH EXTEND IN SWEEPING WHITE CRESCENTS ON EITHER SIDE.
BARRY'S OLD-TIME AMUSEMENT ARCADE
IS A FINE CHANCE TO SEE NORTHERN IRELAND AT PLAY.
WHILE SOME DO THE LOOP-DE-LOOP,
OTHERS MELLOW OUT ON THE BOWLING GREEN.
[ whack ]
[ whack ]
[ whack ]
OR MAYBE YOU'D RATHER GO GOLFING.
SERIOUS GOLFERS CAN GET A TEE TIME AT THE ROYAL PORTRUSH.
IRISH GOLF COURSES, LIKE THOSE IN SCOTLAND,
ARE HIGHLY SOUGHT OUT BY PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE GAME.
ROYAL PORTRUSH GOLF CLUB
IS ONE OF THE BEST LINKS GOLF COURSES IN BRITAIN,
SO LIKE ALL THE LINKS GOLF COURSES,
IT'S DRY, TOUGH, BREEZY AND VERY ENJOYABLE.
Rick: SO WHAT IS A LINKS GOLF COURSE?
WELL, THE BEST LINKS GOLF COURSE
IS RUNNING AGAINST THE SEA.
AND WE HAVE AN EXPRESSION
THAT THE LINKS IS THE PIECE OF GROUND
THAT LINKS THE LAND TO THE SEA.
LINKS GOLF COURSES ARE A SAND-BASED GOLF COURSE.
THEY'RE DRY AND ROLLING AND -- ON, LIKE, PARK LAND
THAT MAY HAVE A LOT OF WATER
AND TREES AND BUSHES.
IT'S ALL SORT OF JUST ROUGH GRASS AND HARD LIES,
AND THAT'S IT.
A REASON TO TRAVEL TO IRELAND, THEN?
IT'S A GREAT REASON TO COME TO IRELAND.
I DIG MY DIVOTS NEXT DOOR AT THE PITCH-AND-PUTT RANGE.
YOU GET TWO CLUBS AND BALLS FOR JUST A COUPLE POUNDS.
ROOKIES YOUNG AND OLD SHARE THE SAME GLORIOUS SETTING
AND TURF WITH, WHO KNOWS, PERHAPS A CHAMP IN THE MAKING,
OR PERHAPS NOT.
AAHH.
IRELAND AND BRITAIN
ARE NO LONGER BASTIONS OF TERRIBLE FOOD.
THE RAMORE WINE BAR OFFERS AN INVITING MENU
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE FOUND ANYWHERE IN IRELAND
A DECADE OR TWO AGO,
EVERYTHING FROM CRAB TO STEAKS TO VEGETARIAN
AT A REASONABLE PRICE.
AND A GLASS OF WINE IS A WELCOME BREAK
AFTER ALL THAT BEER.
HERE IN NORTHERN IRELAND, AS IN THE REST OF BRITAIN,
BED AND BREAKFAST PLACES OFFER A FINE BUDGET VALUE.
BEDROOMS ARE COMFY AS A HOTEL'S BUT FEEL LIKE HOME.
THE INVITING LOUNGE MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE PART OF THE FAMILY.
AND THE INCLUDED BREAKFAST IS HEARTY
AND COMES WITH A CHANCE TO MEET THE OTHER GUESTS.
[ ba-a-a ]
AN HOUR'S DRIVE FROM PORTRUSH, THE TOWN OF LONDONDERRY,
ALSO KNOWN AS DERRY, IS THE SECOND CITY OF ULSTER.
ITS CHARACTERISTIC STREETS ARE INVITING
AND THE TOWN'S HARD-FOUGHT HISTORY IS EVIDENT
IN ITS FORMIDABLE WALL.
LIKE BELFAST,
DERRY COMES WITH ALL THE SECURITY TRAPPINGS.
STEPHEN McPHILEMY, A DERRY GUIDE, IS JOINING US.
YEARS AGO HE SHOWED MY TOUR GROUP HIS HOMETOWN.
STEPHEN WAS SO GOOD, HE NOW LEADS MY IRELAND TOURS.
STEPHEN, TELL ME ABOUT THE POLITICAL LAY OF THE LAND.
OKAY.
EVERYTHING THAT'S IN THE BACKGROUND
THAT'S GREEN
IS THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND.
AND THE RIVER FOYLE, WHICH IS IN FRONT OF US,
IS THE NATURAL BOUNDARY BETWEEN NORTHERN IRELAND,
WHICH IS ON THIS SIDE,
AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND,
WHICH IS ON THAT SIDE.
BUT IN 1921, WHEN THE BRITISH WERE DIVIDING OUR COUNTRY,
THEY WANTED TO HAND THIS CITY OVER
TO THE NEW IRISH FREE STATE.
BUT THE PROTESTANT COMMUNITY HERE DID NOT WANT THAT.
THEY WANTED TO KEEP THE CITY FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS.
SO THE RIVER FOYLE IS THE NATURAL BOUNDARY,
OR THE BORDER, UNTIL IT COMES TO THE URBAN AREA.
THEN IT SWEEPS AROUND AND ENCOMPASSES THE URBAN AREA
OKAY.
AND THEN IT BECOMES THE RIVER AGAIN.
THE BORDER IS THE RIVER AGAIN AT THE END OF THE CITY.
PHYSICALLY, THE CITY IS JOINED WITH THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND,
BUT POLITICALLY IT'S IN NORTHERN IRELAND,
AND THAT'S WHY IT'S BEEN SUCH A HOTBED OF POLITICAL TURMOIL
EVER SINCE THE TROUBLE STARTED BACK IN 1969.
NOW YOU CALLED IT LONDONDERRY OR DERRY?
TO THE PROTESTANT COMMUNITY IT'S VERY PROUDLY LONDONDERRY.
NO CATHOLICS IN THE CITY WOULD ACCEPT THAT TERM,
NEVER CALL IT LONDONDERRY.
TO THE CATHOLIC HERE, IT'S ALWAYS DERRY.
DERRY IS THE FINEST WALLED TOWN IN ALL IRELAND,
AND VISITORS ARE FREE TO WALK THE RAMPARTS.
THE WALLS WERE BUILT IN 1613
BY PROTESTANT COLONISTS FROM THE CITY OF LONDON
TO KEEP THEMSELVES SAFE
FROM THE NATIVE IRISH CATHOLICS
WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL AROUND HERE SURROUNDING THE CITY.
THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN HOSTILE TERRITORY
FOR THE NEW PROTESTANT COLONISTS.
Rick: OKAY.
SO ABOUT 400 YEARS AGO
ENGLISH SETTLERS BEHIND THESE WALLS?
YEAH.
EVERYWHERE OUT HERE?
NATIVE IRISH CATHOLICS ALL AROUND THE CITY
UP IN THE HIGHLANDS, THE HILLS,
THE VALLEYS, THE GLENS.
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE WALL, REALLY.
YEAH.
WE'RE VERY PROUD OF THEM, RICK.
AND IT'S OUR LITTLE CLAIM TO FAME.
WE'RE THE ONLY COMPLETELY WALLED CITY IN IRELAND,
OR BRITAIN FOR THAT MATTER.
REALLY.
STEPHEN'S TAKING ME TO A PUB.
IN SECTARIAN NEIGHBORHOODS,
PUBS ARE PARTICULARLY SECTARIAN,
A HANGOUT FOR EITHER LOYALISTS OR REPUBLICANS.
IN THIS PUB, THE DECOR, PARTICULARLY THE IRISH FLAG,
MAKES THE POLITICS OF THESE FOLKS PERFECTLY CLEAR.
THIS IS A CATHOLIC CROWD.
PROTESTANTS CAN FEEL COMFORTABLE HERE,
UNLESS THEY SAY SOMETHING PROVOCATIVE
OR WEAR UNIONIST COLORS OR SYMBOLS.
LEAVE YOUR UNION JACK AT HOME.
A GREAT THING ABOUT CATHOLIC PUBS: TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC.
[ Irish tune ]
[ clapping ]
Musician: THANK YOU.
[ road noise ]
ON A SINGLE DAY OUT FROM PORTRUSH,
WE'LL ENJOY A WHISKEY DISTILLERY,
A GEOLOGICAL WONDER,
A BOUNCY ROPE BRIDGE, AND A RUINED CASTLE.
AND IT'S ALL ALONG A STUNNING COASTLINE.
[ seagulls crying ]
THE ANTRIM COAST
IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND SCENIC DRIVES
IN THE WHOLE OF IRELAND.
HOMESTEADS ARE PRISTINE.
A SHORT DRIVE THROUGH THIS IDYLLIC FARM COUNTRY
MAKES IT CLEAR, TIDINESS IS A SCOTS-IRISH FORTE.
VISITORS EXPLORE DESOLATE TRAILS...
...EVOCATIVE CASTLE RUINS
AND DRAMATIC BEACHES.
THE ANTRIM COAST IS A POPULAR VACATION GETAWAY FROM BELFAST.
A ROAD TRIP HERE COMES WITH FINE SURPRISES,
LIKE SHOW-OFF-YOUR-HORSE DAY AT THE LOCAL RIDING CLUB.
BUILD A LITTLE SLACK INTO YOUR ITINERARY
SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY STOP AND CHECK OUT THE ACTION.
ANTRIM TOWNS LIKE BUSHMILLS ARE SCOTS-IRISH
AND DECORATED STRICTLY PROTESTANT.
AND THIS TOWN IS HOME TO A FAMOUS WHISKEY.
BUSHMILLS CLAIMS TO BE THE WORLD'S OLDEST DISTILLERY.
THEY'VE BEEN AT IT SINCE THE 13th CENTURY.
GUESTS ARE WELCOME, AND TOURS FINISH HERE,
IN THE TASTING ROOM.
IRISH WHISKEY-MAKERS BRAG THAT THEIR WHISKEY
IS TRIPLE DISTILLED
AND THEREFORE SMOOTHER THAN SCOTCH WHISKEY.
THOSE TAKING THE DISTILLERY TOUR LEARN THIS EMPHATICALLY
DURING THE TASTING.
FOUR VOLUNTEERS PER TOUR GET TO TASTE-TEST
EIGHT DIFFERENT WHISKEYS.
AS YOU'LL COME TO THE SCOTCH AND IRISH,
THE SCOTCH, AS I'VE TOLD YOU BEFORE,
IT IS ONLY DOUBLE DISTILLED,
WHERE THE IRISH IS TRIPLE DISTILLED.
CONGRATULATIONS, FULLY QUALIFIED IRISH WHISKEY TASTER!
THANK YOU.
THERE WE ARE.
THANK YOU.
THE LEADING ATTRACTION ALONG THE COAST
IS THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY,
A FOUR-MILE-LONG STRETCH OF SHORELINE
FAMOUS FOR ITS BIZARRE ROCK COLUMNS.
THE SHORE IS COVERED WITH HEXAGONAL PILLARS
THAT STICK UP AT VARIOUS HEIGHTS.
IT'S AS IF EARTH IS OFFERING GOD HIS CHOICE
OF 37,000 SIX-SIDED CIGARETTES.
THIS WAS A BIG STOP FOR 19th-CENTURY TOURISTS.
EARLY GUIDES GAVE NICKNAMES TO THE PECULIAR FORMATION,
LIKE THE PIPE ORGAN...
...AND THE WISHING CHAIR.
GEOLOGISTS CLAIM THAT GIANT'S CAUSEWAY
WAS FORMED BY VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS 60 MILLION YEARS AGO.
AS THE LAVA SURFACE COOLED, IT CONTRACTED
AND CRACKED INTO HEXAGONAL SHAPES.
AND AS THE LAYER OF HARDENED BUT ALLIGATORED ROCK SETTLED,
IT BROKE INTO ITS MANY STAIR STEPS.
Rick: SO THE SCIENTISTS SAY THIS IS A GEOLOGICAL FORMATION.
AYE, BUT NOBODY HERE ACTUALLY BELIEVES THAT, RICK.
WE BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS BUILT BY GIANTS 2,000 YEARS AGO:
THE GREAT FINN McCOOL, A LOCAL CHAMPION,
AGAINST THE SCOTTISH PRETENDER, BENNAN DONNER,
WHO LIVED OVER HERE IN THE MULL OF KINTYRE.
SO THE SCOTS GUY DECIDES TO BUILD A CAUSEWAY
ACROSS THE OCEAN HERE, 12 MILES, INSTEAD OF COMING BY BOAT.
HE COMES ACROSS ON HIS CAUSEWAY.
HE PLUNDERS AND PILLAGES A LITTLE BIT HERE.
OUR CHAMPION, FINN McCOOL, WAS A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS
BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE CELTS FOUGHT
CHAMPION TO CHAMPION, NOT NECESSARILY ARMY TO ARMY.
SO HIS WIFE DECIDES TO BUILD A CRADLE
THAT'S ABOUT SEVEN FEET LONG.
SHE DRESSES HIM UP LIKE A LITTLE BABY
AND PUTS HIM IN THE WEE CRADLE.
THIS IS ULSTER'S HARDEST MAN.
THE SCOTS GUY COMES ACROSS, GETS INTO THE CASTLE,
GRABS HIS WIFE AND SAYS, I'M GONNA KILL YOUR HUSBAND.
AND SHE SAID TO HIM, SHH, IF YOU DON'T BE QUIET,
YOU'RE GONNA WAKE MY WEE BABY.
AND IF YOU WAKE MY BABY,
THEN HIS FATHER'S GOING TO BE VERY, VERY ANGRY.
AND THE SCOTTISH GUY LOOKS AROUND,
SEES THAT THE BABY'S ACTUALLY SEVEN FOOT LONG
AND IS TERRIFIED.
AND HE THINKS, OH MY GOD, IF THE BABY IS SEVEN FOOT LONG,
THEN THE FATHER'S GONNA BE ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE.
SO INSTEAD OF WAITING AROUND TO MEET THE IRISH FATHER,
HE RUNS THE WHOLE WAY BACK TO SCOTLAND
AND GETS THE SOLDIERS TO PULL UP THE CAUSEWAY
AND DUMP IT IN THE OCEAN BEHIND HIM.
AND THE PROOF OF THAT STORY IS WHAT WE'RE STANDING ON
RIGHT NOW TODAY.
GIANTS OR GEOLOGY, YOU DECIDE.
EITHER WAY, THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY IS WELL WORTH A STOP.
[ Irish music ]
A FEW MILES FURTHER UP THE COAST
IS A BRIDGE YOU CAN CROSS.
FOR A GREAT LITTLE HIKE,
A POWERFUL DOSE OF ULSTER NATURE
AND A FEW BUTTERFLIES IN YOUR STOMACH,
FOLLOW THE TRAIL
TO THE CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE.
FOR 200 YEARS, FISHERMEN HAVE STRUNG A SKINNY BRIDGE
ACROSS A CHASM BETWEEN THE MAINLAND AND A TINY ISLAND.
SACRED HEART!
THERE SHOULD BE A BAR OVER HERE!
Rick: EH, I'M STILL KIND OF QUEASY.
[ laughs ]
THIS IS THE ROPE BRIDGE OF ANY KID'S DREAMS.
Rick: SO THE BRIDGE WAS ACTUALLY BUILT BY FISHERMEN?
Stephen: YEAH.
WELL, YOU SEE, THIS TIME OF YEAR,
CROWDS OF BIG, FAT SALMON
ARE GOING AROUND THE COAST HERE
TO GET BACK TO SPAWN IN THE RIVERS.
SO TWO CENTURIES AGO, THE FISHERMEN REALIZED
THIS WAS THE BEST PLACE TO CATCH THEM,
SO THEIR NETS ARE HERE JUST OFF THE ISLAND.
SO TO GET TO THE ISLAND, THE ROPE BRIDGE WAS BUILT.
[ bird cries ]
INCREDIBLE PERCH.
YEAH, THE BIRDS LOVE IT.
IT'S GREAT -- ONE GREAT BIG BIRD SANCTUARY
UP HERE PRETTY MUCH.
I MEET BIRD WATCHERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD,
WHO COME OVER HERE TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON,
LOOK AT THE BIRDS,
LOOK AT THE GULLS, THE GANNETS, THE RAZORBILLS.
BIGGEST PUFFIN SANCTUARY IN EUROPE
IS BEHIND US HERE ON RATHLIN ISLAND.
THE ROMANTIC RUINS OF DUNLUCE CASTLE,
PERCHED DRAMATICALLY ON THE EDGE OF A ROCKY HEADLAND,
ARE A TESTIMONY TO THIS REGION'S TURBULENT PAST.
LOCAL GUIDES ARE EXPERT AT BRINGING THE RUINS TO LIFE.
Rick: SO THIS WAS A THE HOME OF A NOBLE FAMILY?
Woman guide: THIS WAS THE HOME OF THE McDONNELL FAMILY,
WHO ORIGINATED IN SCOTLAND.
THEY CAME OVER HERE AND WORKED THEIR WAY
TO THE TOP OF THE TREE SOCIALLY.
AND THIS IS WHERE THEY HAD THEIR BASE.
THIS BIG ROOM HERE?
YES.
THIS LARGE HALL WAS BUILT ABOUT THE 1620s,
AND THIS IS WHERE THE McDONNELL EARLS,
THE EARLS OF ANTRIM NOW,
WINED AND DINED AND ENTERTAINED THEIR GUESTS.
Rick: SO THIS IS MORE THAN A WINDY FORTRESS?
Guide: YES.
THIS WAS ACTUALLY A VERY LUXURIOUSLY APPOINTED PALACE
BY THE SEA.
THEY HAD TAPESTRIES ON THEIR WALLS, POSSIBLY WOOD PANELING.
THEY HAD REAL PERSIAN CARPETS ON THEIR FLOORS.
THEY HAD FANCY IMPORTED EUROPEAN FURNITURE AND AN IRISH HARP
FOR ENTERTAINING FOR MUSICAL EVENINGS AFTER DINNER.
Rick: VERY NICE.
I CAN IMAGINE A HARP HERE.
DURING THE MIDDLE AGES, DUNLUCE RESISTED SEVERAL SIEGES.
BUT THEN ON A STORMY NIGHT IN 1639 DINNER WAS INTERRUPTED
AS THIS END OF THE CASTLE CRASHED INTO THE SEA,
TOOK THE KITCHEN AND SEVERAL SERVANTS WITH IT.
THE LADY OF THE HOUSE,
WHO DIDN'T LIKE LIVING ON THIS WINDY BLUFF ANYWAY,
SAID, THAT'S IT.
SHE PACKED UP AND MOVED INLAND,
ABANDONING DUNLUCE CASTLE TO THE FORCES OF NATURE.
NORTHERN IRELAND, FROM ITS BLOSSOMING CAPITAL
STAINED WITH SECTARIAN STRUGGLES...
...TO ITS CONEY ISLAND AND NATURAL PLAYGROUNDS...
...ITS GEOLOGICAL WONDERS AND ITS ONGOING CHALLENGES,
IS A REWARDING PART OF ANY EMERALD ISLE EXPERIENCE.
I HOPE YOU'VE ENJOYED OUR LOOK AT THE BEST OF NORTHERN IRELAND.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M RICK STEVES.
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP ON TRAVELIN'.
COME BACK.
[ laughs ]
HA, HA, HA, ACTUALLY...
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Belfast and the Best of Northern Ireland

3346 Folder Collection
Rosalyn Kate published on July 16, 2015
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