While visiting Dublin last spring with two of our favorite people, I knew we needed to get out of the city.
As much as I wanted to explore Dublin, Ireland is all about the countryside if you ask me–and since it had been almost ten years since I had last visited and been to the countryside (!!), it was time.
Although I was aching to re-visit the West Country, ultimately we decided to go somewhere new: Northern Ireland! Since we were limited to just four days and we certainly wanted time for Dublin, we chose a bus tour that took us to Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and more.
It is one of my dream trips to rent a car in Ireland and drive around for days, stopping to my heart’s content–but a bus tour is not a bad way to get around in the country. Especially if you love information about what you’re looking at, like I do. We did this one. Our driver was pretty good, and gave us some interesting details and background myths of the area. I of course would have liked to know more, but I suppose he did need to focus on the driving–the Antrim Coast is not the easiest in the world to drive, judging from the view of a passenger!
The highlight of the tour was the drive along the Antrim Coast, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and, of course, the famous Giant’s Causeway.
The upper coast of Northern Ireland is just what one hopes to see when they visit Ireland–land so green it hurts your eyes, little cottages and their accompanying sheep farms, dramatic coastlines and brooding ocean.
The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge connects the mainland of Ireland to a small island, mainly for tourists, although there have been many bridges on this spot for fisherman in the past. I’m not terribly scared of heights, and the bridge felt safe to me, but in the wind I can see that it might not be for the faint of heart!
The views, though, are incredible. The small hike to and from the bridge–on both sides–is also worth a wander.
After the bridge, we went to the well-known geological site, the Giant’s Causeway, so called because the legend says that the giant Finn MacCool built the causeway as a bridge to meet a fellow giant, from Scotland, to fight. There are rock formations on the Scottish isle of Fingal–the other side of the bridge, according to the legend.
From a geological point of view, the nearly identical basalt columns are leftover from a period of intense volcanic activity. (Forgive my oversimplification).
From a visitors point of view?
Well, they’re truly awesome and the rocks seem too perfect to have been created by a volcano–they do look to have been placed carefully by a legendary giant.
I took about fifty photos of my feet on the columns that ended up looking the same–but at the time, every step seemed unique!
It was rainy on-and-off during our trip–there’s a reason Ireland is so green, after all–but for both of these stops, the skies mostly cleared and we were able to walk and stay dry as we explored.
From the busy city of Dublin to the tip-top of the island–all in one day!
These pictures make me want to go back to Ireland and rent that car!
Who’s with me?
Linking up with Travel Tuesday.