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Published: August 21st 2019
We hopped a train from Dublin with an Irishman named David and headed north today. What a gloriously, delicious day it was, Again we were pretty lucky, because like a ding-dong I had purchased the tickets with the intention of trying to get the right weather day to do this tour. Duh, there is no right weather day in Ireland, it rains, the sun shines, it rains, and the glorious sun shines. So, I prompted Kerry to get on with it and we grabbed a taxi and headed to the train station at 6:15 a.m. 😳 only to find out when we met David, our tour guide, that I had made the reservation for the following day...yep. Luckily, David was able to squeeze us in with new friends, Kaylynn and her daughter Samma (Samantha) from Utah, Liz from New York, Ougai Kofude from Japan, and others.
The first leg of our journey brought us to Belfast where you could tell Ireland’s second largest city was definitely industrialized. Belfast is a place where many great ships have been built including the RMS Titanic . Once off the train in Belfast, we boarded our tour bus where we sat at the front.
It’s amazing how quickly we had new friends, and it didn’t hurt to have our tour guide David and the bus driver Craig in our circle too!
Our first stop was Carrrickfergus Castle. The castle was built on a spot where King Fergus, the first King of Scotland, died around AD501 when his boat crashed upon the rocks of Ulster as he sailed home to find a cure for his leprosy.
We continued on our journey along the Antrim coast and could actually see Mull of Kintyre, Scotland from afar. Our next stop was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, it’s construction facilitated the local fisherman to access Sheep Island where there is excellent fishing. After a hike to the bridge site and a shaky trek over the bridge we headed back to the bus and a stop by Dunluce Castle for a quick photo before a windy storm blew onto the coastline. And then there was the Giant’s Causeway. Wow, about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, the year Kerry and I were married. (Appropriate smile here😊 The legend has it that the Irish giant Fionn Mac
Cumhaill built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight an opponent... but his opponent found out he was so large that he ripped up the Causeway so Fionn couldn't track him down...needless to say it’s a pretty incredible coastline!
My new friend Liz and I hiked our way up to the high point to take some incredible shots and met Kerry and the others back at the bus for the trip back to Belfast.. oh and did I mention that my new friend Ougai Kofude is a teacher of calligraphy? So of course keeping in the tradition of art, I had her draw a little something for me like my new friend John had done the day before 😊
We all parted ways at the train station back in Dublin, with hugs and promises of staying in touch.
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