Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ireland: Wednesday

Did you know that Northern Ireland is not part of the Republic of Ireland?  I sure didn't until we started planning this trip.  There's a lot of political and religious tension between the two, but that sure didn't stop us from heading north to visit.  Originally, I wasn't actually thrilled about going up there.  It was something like a 5 hour drive, and I figured there were things closer we could do.  But boy am I glad we went.  It was incredible up there!!!

We were actually driving through Belfast for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Belfast is where the Titanic was built.  They were having a big commemoration, but we decided to pass on the crowds.  Isn't it enough to say we were there? :)

We started off our northern adventure at Dunluce Castle.  It's an old castle ruin right on some cliffs that overlook the ocean.  In fact, back in the day part of the kitchen fell into the ocean and the wife of the owner refused to live there any longer.
It was so fun to walk around the grounds.
We did some exploring and took some great photo ops in the castle.

 Little Mermaid :)
 Every castle has to have a dungeon.
 We thought this rock cut-out looked like the state of Utah :)
 KYLE shadow
After Dunluce, we headed down the road to Giants Causeway.  It's this area on the coast that has some amazing rock formations from a volcano eruption.  Most of the stones are hexagonal.  It was a-mazing!!

Organ Pipes
 Giant's Boot
We stayed in Portstewart that night at a cute B&B.  Before heading to bed, we walked around the little town and found this pastry shop that had an amazing rhubarb crumble (don't worry...we went back the next day)
 They had these giant ice cream statue things all over Ireland!  I had to get at least one picture.  I love ice cream :)
 We went to a pub in search of a real Irish pub experience.  Well, as soon as our not-so-friendly waitress found out we didn't drink alcohol, she didn't really care about us anymore.  She came and threw 10 sets of silverware on the table for us.  So friendly!  But the food was good!  Nothing I couldn't find in the U.S., but it was still good!
 Our cute B&B


Ryan G said...

Those stones are SO cool! Did you rip one out to bring it back?? :)