Hiking Cave Hill
I don't know about you but I am really starting to feel the Winter blues. I know the days are getting that little bit longer and brighter, and that it's mind over matter before Spring arrives but Winter is still clinging on pretty good, messing with my head - throwing us snow one day, then wild rain, icy blue skies and blazing sunsets the next. GET IT TOGETHER WINTER. I wouldn't say I have SADS or anything dramatic, but I guess I've been hibernating too long indoors. I know I respond so much better to my surrounding when I've been outside, had a good airing. I've realised my need to get out more in the elements, stretch it out and get my endorphins flowing a bit better.
As an accidental tradition, most Sundays now we set off somewhere as a family for a big walk - mainly to blow out the cobwebs and give Levi some space to run off energy and it has been quite live-giving for us.
Today we bit off maybe slightly more than we could chew and decided to try and hike up Cave Hill in Belfast. Most people mightn't consider it a mountain but WHATEVER - there were some pretty steep inclines - so I'm calling it a mountain. I could hear my heart in my ears - it was mountainous.
Once the trail clears you are set up to one of the most stunning views in Northern Ireland. The scenery from the 2 mile hike from Upper Hightown Road car park on a good, clear day is so beautiful - the whole city sprawled out before us - so calm, so tranquil. Levi did really well on the way up, and I'm so glad we did it. It's probably not much of a deal to those of you a little more athletically inclined, but I'll admit there were a couple of points where my unfit body & will was like "that'll do now sister - you've seen enough, no need to get to the top" but Dave (who was at this stage actually carrying a 3 stone child on his shoulders) kept at me and we got there.
We could see the Mourne Mountains, all of Belfast Lough and a little edge of Scotland from up there - really spectacular. It was really windy at the top so we took cover in a little slope and had some tea and bananas. Levi's will quickly dissolved and the descent, although easier than going up, involved much crying and distracting and carrying. Bless him, he had had enough & I don't blame him really.
After we got back down we headed into the city and met a friend for lunch at Alley Cat (best burgers, slightly over-priced & apparently fighting with the Council about a low hygiene rating - wish I'd known that before I had my meal...) before driving home, lighting the fire and hibernating for the evening (which doesn't seem all that bad now) before this week kicks off again.