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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Return to Cavehill: the disaster

I returned to Cavehill today, this time with my brother in tow because he's been banging on about visiting Napoleon's Nose, however, I wanted to visit the castle, and he agreed. So off we went to the country park where we parked the car. Last week when I climbed to the top of Cavehill I noticed Belfast Castle down below (remember the photo?) so I assumed it was a short walk via the lower path. Four miles later and we reached the end of the path, having walked past farmland, imposing livestock, a field full of horses and a short woodland, it brought us out to a nice housing area...right beside the motorway! Not one to be discouraged I asked a nice lady who was walking her dog for directions to the castle, she pointed me in the right direction and off I went up another hill which brought me to another woodland.

I forgot to mention that my brother had been quite grumpy and stormed on, which is so unlike him as he's usually so keen to get out. Anyhow, Mark decided to experiment with a shortcut and like a fool I followed him, only to discover that it was indeed a mudslide, so I slipped the entire way down, holding little Lola in my arms and trying in vain to keep my balance. I fell down, my new gloves fell into the mud and my shoes were a mess. Onward and upward.

We walked up a long driveway leading to the castle and out of no where it appeared, a miniscule version of a German castle. I was very excited, Mark was less enthusiastic. As we approached the beautiful garden the sky opened and hail stones pelted down on us. I kept edging closer, saying, "Oh isn't this lovely!" and other sentiments but Mark had turned on his heels and was heading back.

I suggested that we stand under a tree but he declined. He thought he knew the way back, even though I told him we had to walk toward the hill and then to the left, but he charged on and we walked for a mile in a circle which brought us back to the housing area. He marched on this time, very crossly, along the stony path. At this point I didn't care if I was able to keep up, my makeup was running down my face and I kept envisioning we were getting closer and closer. We passed the familiar woodland, the livestock, I stopped, convinced I was having a heart attack, a large cow stared at me, I am so afraid of cows etc but I didn't care, I just thought if it should charge at me I won't be able to run. It continued to eat its grass.
Grey skies were closing in

Mark kept snapping at me like a terrier, incidentally my terrier was beautifully behaved. He then stopped halfway and began to pelt me with stones, I was literally lynched on the side of Cavehill, it almost felt Biblical. And then he raced ahead.

Four miles later we made it to the car...all uphill and battling the elements. My lungs are still sore.

I am going to return to Belfast Castle, and next time I will drive. I am anxious to visit the Cat Garden and the antique shop inside the castle. The caste itself is now a hotel and I believe they serve a very good lunch at a reasonable price.


  1. Oh, I am so sorry your trip to Cavehill was a miserable one!The pictures of the castle are beautiful thought. :-)