Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Green Ireland ~ Dunluce Castle ~ Antrim Coast Road

We had finished our walk to the Giant’s Causeway and while waiting to board our coach again, had the pleasure of enjoying this view.  It was in front of the Causeway Hotel that sits beside the Visitor’s Centre at the Giant's Causeway and although the rain and wind were creating havoc with taking photos, I was happy to get a couple.

View of North Atlantic Ocean
Ireland does get a lot of rain and they don’t deny that fact but looking at the lushness of their fields, we see the benefit of the rain.   I would have loved to have blue sky and sunshine for this visit but I won’t complain, the sights were still beautiful.
In front of Causeway Hotel
There is no shortage of sheep in this country.  We’ve seen many herds of sheep, far more than any cattle, although there are some of those, too, just not near as many.  It is springtime so there are likely babies in this crowd, too.

Dunluce Castle
We only stopped to see the medieval Dunluce Castle from this distance.  It is surrounded by steep cliffs, which was likely to protect the Christians and Vikings during early days.  The first castle was built in the 13th century and this one later.  There is a bridge to connect to it now, enabling it to be a location for several films.  The most recent would be for Game of Thrones, as the Seat of House Greyjoy, the castle of Pyke. 

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery
This was apparently a highlight for some.  If one likes whiskey, I can understand but not being one of those, it was a good spot for lunch so it worked.  The Bushmills does have a great reputation, and have been around for centuries, which proves just that.  They are still winning awards. 

Bushmills Whiskey shop
And if nothing else, this will show that they are serious about their whiskey.  I doubt this large vat is still used but it looks like it surely was!  They have walls lined with whiskey bottles and note the chandelier of empty ones.  One can buy a selection of four samples for ten pounds that also includes a small chat to explain the different whiskeys.  Then one takes them to a table and samples.  This ‘one’ choked on the first sip, nothing like proving I’m a not a whiskey fan, and kindly offered the rest of my share to Keith.  We enjoyed our lunch, though. 

Village in Northern Ireland
We passed by several villages on our way back to Belfast.  We were following the Antrim Coast Road most of our return but the misty wet day didn’t allow many views on that side of the bus.  It is pretty hard to say there is a typical village to show but look closer, could this one feature some Game of Throne characters?  

Farmland in Northern Ireland
The views never got tiresome.  Although the raindrops covered the window, we were still able to enjoy the countryside and I wasn’t going to sacrifice some pictures just for some raindrops!  In our own vehicle I would have had the window open but that is not an option in a coach with others.   

More Sheep
The white dots in the distance are sheep, between the rain drops on the window!   We drove through several miles of farmland like this.  It did make me think of a quilt design, might be a good idea!

Quiltwork fields
It was so impressive looking at the way the fields were laid out.  They are so neat and tidy and green.  The guide said we were in the “49 Shades of Green” country.  The sun did try to shine during a moment of time but not long enough to get a photo with it.  It was a great day, though, even without the sun.

The next day we were on our way back to England but we’d seen some beautiful sights and learned some amazing things about Belfast.  It is a special place and well worth a visit.  You’ll enjoy it, too, I’m sure.

To see more, click on here for Belfast and here for Giant's Causeway.


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