Northern Ireland – treasure hunting, cheerful people and fresh nature

I was in Northern Ireland in response to the invitation of George Toma, a Romanian settled in Portaferry. It seemed to me an unmissable opportunity to visit a geographical and cultural space that I have always felt attracted to. So I readily accepted when George issued an invitation to a mate detection party to visit him, detectors and all, in the small town on the strait at the entrance to Strangford Lough.

Incidentally, Strangford Lough comes from the Old Norse language, meaning strong gulf. The strait has the second strongest ebb tide in the world, it is said, being located in a region heavily anchored in the past of Viking invasions and colonization.

Put that alongside the gorgeous scenery, low prices, cheerful people and permissive UK metal detecting legislation and then the decision to go there is irresistible.

We found no treasure in Portaferry. The few coins picked up with the detector were close to the shore in the bay after low tide. I found common coins from 100-150 years ago, including a silver one, but very very dull and uninteresting. The treasure, however, was the trip itself.

I have the impression that trips where you go with a purpose other than visiting touristic sights are much more interesting. What do you think?

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