There was a short flight delay at Belfast International so that gave me another forty minutes or so to make my comparison between north and south Ireland.
We started our journey in Belfast so I made my first judgement between here and Dublin. I liked Dublin, it was fun, it was more Bohemian, it was shabby chic compared to the Victorian starched collared style of Belfast which reminded me of the great cities of Northern England.
Dublin has Temple Bar, Belfast has the Cathedral Quarter, Dublin wins hands down on that score but Belfast has the River Lagan, the Titanic Experience (which is way more interesting than the Book of Kells) and the history of the troubles. I only spent a day in Dublin so I might be being unfair here but my vote goes to Belfast.
North 1 – South 0
Next my thoughts turned to coastal road drives. Fresh in my memory was the glorious journey along the Antrim Coast, never before have I driven along a road so close to the seashore and with so many wonderful places to stop and admire the natural environment but then I was instantly reminded of the Ring of Dingle with its high level looping journey around the headland where Charles Lindbergh first reached Europe on his solo trans Atlantic flight and where Fungi the Dolphin entertains people on a daily basis.
North 1 – South 1
Ireland is so photogenic that it is no surprise that it has been used extensively in film locations over the years. In the North they have the Game of Thrones but I admit to having never watched that but in the South they have Father Ted and I have watched every episode time and time again.
North 1 – South 2
I turn again now to the natural environment and the glories of nature. In the South there is the Cliffs of Moher and in the north there is the Giant’s Causeway. I like them both but you cannot get anywhere near the cliffs of Moher because of barricades and fencing but on the Causeway you can climb all over the rock formations and really appreciate what it is all about.
I was disappointed by the Cliffs of Moher but I liked the Causeway so much that I went twice. Also, the Causeway was free but there was an entrance fee to the Cliffs.
North 2 – South 2
I was thinking about what to compare next as a decider when Kim asked me what I was doing. I explained that I was drawing up a comparison between north and south. She raised an inquisitive eyebrow and asked me why and she was right. What was the point of a comparison. I am not making any political, religious or sectarian judgements here but Ireland should be seen as just that without any geographical divisions and on that basis I declare the contest a draw!
I need to go back…