Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Carrick a Rede, The Giant's Causeway and Bushmills
Here's a look at the entrance to the Newgrange tomb we visited yesterday. It's a dramatic place.
We drove up the lovely Antrim coastline of the Irish Sea and through the glens and daffodils to the swing bridge at Carrick a Rede. It was built by salmon fishermen to allow them access to a small island off the coast, taking advantage of the channel where the salmon migrate. By the time we arrived, the mist had also descended. We both successfully navigated the swing bridge - it wasn't bad - and enjoyed the coastline views and screaming gulls. The National Trust cafe on site had good leek and potato soup for lunch.
It was a short drive to the Giant's Causeway, further up the coast. It's an amazing geological phenomenon (of course there's a legend involved about a "girlfriend" in Scotland) caused by lava coming to the surface and cooling. The National Trust is doing a huge amount of construction above the site for a new tourist center, but there are comfortable small buses running down to the beach. That was an unexpected surprise. We walked down and rode back up.
The Bushmill Inn where we are staying tonight is gorgeous. We have a big room with a sitting area, a walkin closet, and a large bath. There are peat fires burning in the woodstove downstairs. Since it is still cool and misty, it's a welcome retreat. We are eating in their very fine dining room this evening. It's a charming town and terrific hotel. Tomorrow we'll check out the distillery and Blackbush whiskey, although I'll probably have a wee taste tonight before dinner.