County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Published: August 1st 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Northern Ireland

County Antrim, Northern Ireland

This area of Northern Ireland is beautiful with its coastal views and greenery everywhere. This campground has the local bus stop right at the reception office, so we hopped on and got a special "Hop on Hop Off" ticket for the day. The Giant Causeway was our first stop, and this is a fascinating area of ancient rocks. The scientific explanation is...the over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is both a World Heritage Site and a National Nature Reserve. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal.
Then, there is the legendary explanation... about an Irish Giant (Finn McCool) who built a causeway to walk to Scotland. Either way, it is a neat place to walk and explore. It is the most popular tourist attraction in N. Ireland.
After a "spot of tea" we are back on the bus to Carrick-A-Rede...from the Scottish Gaelic, meaning the rock in the road. It is the sea route for Atlantic salmon. For over 350 years fishermen have strung a rope bridge 30 m above the sea, to access the best place to catch salmon. Today the bridge presents a challenge to visitor's who come to enjoy the same views and thrill. When we were there it was quite windy and we wondered if it would be closed. No way...Wind and drizzle did not stop us, along with many others, from hiking out to and crossing the bridge. Bob had a death grip on the rope and did not take any pictures while on the bridge. On the way back the wind picked up again and the rope bridge was swaying; we both were glad to be safely on land. What a rush!
The local bus dropped us at Bushmill Distillery for a tour of the plant. As it was late in the day and raining again, our enthusiasm was low. The tour was OK and we sampled malt whiskey. Bob will stick with his beer. As we walked back to the campground in the rain, "our friend" the bus driver, tooted his horn and picked us up. It was a long day.

Additional photos below
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1st August 2008

I share your enthusiasm
I once joined three ladies from Australia on their tour of Northern Ireland to attend a Rose Show. What a hoot. The tradition of opening college dorms in summer to travelers is something to check out for cheap digs.
5th August 2008

Welcome Home
I've thoroughly enjoyed sharing your travels, your pictures and narratives are excellent. Hope to hear more about them on a Ramble soon.

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