Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday 9/17 - Bushmill.

Got up late to a little better weather than yesterday but still windy and drizzly.

After a hearty Irish breakfast we started our site seeing.

Armed with directions and maps from Valerie, our first stop was the Dark Hedges.

Very intriguing array of sycamore trees planted by the Stuart family.
From there we went to the Balintoy and then on to the smallest Church in Ireland in Portbradden, St. Gibban's.

An eccentric man, educated in Princeton lives next door and we had quite an adventure interacting with him and his boulders.

He later turned out to be the owner Reverend John McConnell Auld (also known as Con Auld), who, among other endeavours, is a local author and former mayor of North Down.

We stopped for lunch at a cafe in Coleraine, run by two young men who were very pleasant and helpful. We were having problems unlocking our car with the remote and there wasn't any visible signs of a manual key hole. They looked as well and couldn't find it but they did give us the phone number of the nearest Hyundai dealer. Apparently you have to pry off the stationary portion of the door handle with a sharp object to get to it. Remind me never to get a Hyundai.

I got my latte to go and processed on to the ancient Mussenden temple.

It was pouring rain and a long climb, I decided to skip going up to it and stayed in the car.

This was the west most point and from there we worked our way back to the Giants Causeway, hoping that we will catch it at sunset and the weather clears up.
Our next stop was The Dunluce Castle.

I loved the castle, it was very well preserved and looked like picture postcard view. The sky had started to clear up and we were hopeful of our visit to the Giant's causeway.

We finally got there and managed to get the last bus going down to it. It was every bit worth it and I am very glad to finally see this after 3 tries. The sky had started to clear up just enough to put a tinge of color and it was gorgeous but again, my pictures don't to justice to the beauty.

The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles northeast of the town of Bushmills. These are rocks are basalt, which naturally cooled to their hexagonal crystal shape.

This happened before there was an ocean there.

We didn't get to spend too much time since we had to catch the last bus going back but just seeing it was so worth it for me.

We stopped for dinner at Tartine Distillery Arms, somewhat of a snooty restaurant. They took our orders prior to getting us a table but never followed through and kept us waiting for way too long. One of us had to get up between courses and ask for the next. I did have excellent lamb shank, so soft and juicy.

We finally got out of there two hours later. Met a three women group and one of them went to Marquette, small world.

Came back and retired for the night.

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