Monday, July 19, 2010

Epic UK Road Trip: Volume 7 (part 1)

Thanks for being patient with me as I slooooooowly post stories and pictures from this trip. It has been hard to find the time to set aside and really reflect on the trip.

In today's installment, you will explore Northern Ireland with me and the crew (part 1), learn about Midges and hear a story (part 2).

We woke early in our hostel in Port Stewart but had a relaxing morning as we packed up our stuff and prepared to see some awesome sights. After a short visit with Rick, the owner of Rick's Causeway Coast Hostel, we headed out.

Our first stop was Dunluce Castle, which is a really well-kept ruin of a castle, with a cool video introduction by a descendant of the owner of the castle. I loved that they had signs saying which part of the castle was which and that it was so well-preserved you could really imagine what would have happened in each area.

Under the castle there was an inlet where boats used to dock - we climbed down to explore it!

I just like this one... its a archway below the castle.

Dunluce Castle.

I thought it was really neat how the flowers were growing IN the ruins and reaching up toward the sky. It reminded me of some of the little flowers from Much Afraid's journey in "Hinds Feet on High Places."

Afterward, we headed to Giant's Causeway which is this really cool area where the shoreline is made up of all these hexagonal rock columns. This place is seriously cool - you walk down a big hill toward the shore and there are the columns - just piled up and down, at different heights - but all the same shapes!

from Matt's camera - I love this pic!

Matt did a little photo shoot for me and Candice - here is one for our dance team...

A good view of how the columns range in height but are all still the same shape! So cool!

The view from Giant's Causeway!

Travelers standing where Giants trod.

Finally, after the Causeway we headed out to the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. The bridge is about 80 feet above the sea, and you cross it onto a tiny little island with beautiful views of the sea and the shore. The rope bridge turned out to not be scary at all (and in that sense was kind of disappointing) but the island was beautiful and we were all able to have some time to just sit and think and enjoy the sights.

The President is not afraid of no tall bridge!

Somewhere in there, we went into town and ate lunch at a pub that had really delicious fancy food and the cutest Irish waiters who had fair skin and red hair and said things like "I'm not sure which beer to recommend, I've been drinking cider since I was a boy" - adorable.

It was also during our visit to this pub that I remembered how much Irish is in my (and my dad's) family line, and how much we all look like a variety of Irish "types" - either fair skinned and red hair with blue/green eyes, or fair skinned and brown hair with blue/green eyes. This must be why I like the movie "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" so much - well, that and Sean Connery and his booming baritone.

Start watching this video at 1:26 and you'll understand the magic of the latter.


Kristen said...

a: i have been to everywhere you mentioned in this post, including Rick's inn.
b: i am so excited you had good weather to see my country
c: do you understand why i want to move back?!