Causeway in the Sun

Last tie I was in Belfast, I took a tour up around the Antrim coast to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway, and Dunluce Castle. It rained pretty hard the entire time, and I got drenched. More to the point, I didn’t really get any good pictures.

This time around, the sun was shining pretty much the whole time. There were some threatening clouds in the afternoon, and I felt a few tiny drops when I got back to Belfast, but really, the weather was pretty much perfect.

So, yeah. You may have seen some of these pictures from last trip, but I think these turned out nicer.

We started from the Europa Hotel. Until recently it held the record for the most bombed hotel in the world. Now the honour is held by the Hilton in Bagdad.
We started from the Europa Hotel. Until recently it held the record for the most bombed hotel in the world. Now the honour is held by the Hilton in Bagdad.
Our first stop was Carrickfergus Castle. We only had a short stop here, so we had a look at the outside, but couldn't go in.
Our first stop was Carrickfergus Castle. We only had a short stop here, so we had a look at the outside, but couldn’t go in.
My seatmate on the tour was Anya, from Denmark. She agreed to take a picture of me here at Carrickfergus in return for me taking a picture of her here, as well.
My seatmate on the tour was Anya, from Denmark. She agreed to take a picture of me here at Carrickfergus in return for me taking a picture of her here, as well.
Carrickfergus Harbour is very pretty.
Carrickfergus Harbour is very pretty.
We stopped for lunch at Bushmill's Distillery. Not enough time for a tour, and a long line at the cafeteria, so I grabbed a sandwich from Spar and walked down into the town.
We stopped for lunch at Bushmill’s Distillery. Not enough time for a tour, and a long line at the cafeteria, so I grabbed a sandwich from Spar and walked down into the town.
The centre of Bushmill Village is very nice. I still can't get over the narrow, narrow streets and narrow, narrow sidewalks.
The centre of Bushmill Village is very nice. I still can’t get over the narrow, narrow streets and narrow, narrow sidewalks.
We stopped at a view of Dunluce Castle, which was very pretty, but we didn't go in. A little disappointed, but at least I went in last year.
We stopped at a view of Dunluce Castle, which was very pretty, but we didn’t go in. A little disappointed, but at least I went in last year.
I didn't get the name of the young lady who took my picture here. But thank you!
I didn’t get the name of the young lady who took my picture here. But thank you!
Last time I was at the Giant's Causeway, tide was high, and I was a little disappointed with the size of it. Today, the tide was much lower, and a whole lot more of it was exposed.
Last time I was at the Giant’s Causeway, tide was high, and I was a little disappointed with the size of it. Today, the tide was much lower, and a whole lot more of it was exposed. All the darker portion was new to me.
It's really much more extensive than it seemed last visit. Also, less likely to kill you if you get close to the waves. And easier to climb on the drier walks.
It’s really much more extensive than it seemed last visit. Also, less likely to kill you if you get close to the waves. And easier to climb on the drier stones.
So, yeah. Much cooler this time around. And not drenched in rain.
So, yeah. Much cooler this time around. And not drenched in rain.
And lots of tiny wildflowers sprouting in amongst the stones.
And lots of tiny wildflowers sprouting in amongst the stones.
Thanks to Anya for once again doing photographer duty.
Thanks to Anya for once again doing photographer duty.
Another shot of the Giant's Boot. Drier this time.
Another shot of the Giant’s Boot. Drier this time.
Here are some kids up at the Organ. They give some perspective as to the size of the formation.
Here are some kids up at the Organ. They give some perspective as to the size of the formation.
Looking up at the Organ. This time, without a big drop of water on the lens.
Looking up at the Organ. This time, without a big drop of water on the lens.
Waves crashing on the Giant's Causeway. Big, but not terrifyingly big.
Waves crashing on the Giant’s Causeway. Big, but not terrifyingly big.
This is the headland on the beach just past the Giant's Causeway. I'm not sure if the little pillars you can see on it are natural or man-made.
This is the headland on the beach just past the Giant’s Causeway. I’m not sure if the little pillars you can see on it are natural or man-made.
The island in the foreground is Rathlin Island. Interesting place. Behind it, the shadowy outline is the Mull of Kintyre - it's actually part of shoreline of Scotland, about twelve miles away.
The island in the foreground is Rathlin Island. Interesting place. Behind it, the shadowy outline is the Mull of Kintyre – it’s actually part of shoreline of Scotland, about twelve miles away.
I had forgotten how much walking was involved in visiting Carrick-a-Rede. And how steep most of it is.
I had forgotten how much walking was involved in visiting Carrick-a-Rede. And how steep most of it is.
So, this is the Carrick-a-Rede bridge from above. With the bright sunlight, you can see exactly how far down things are.
So, this is the Carrick-a-Rede bridge from above. With the bright sunlight, you can see exactly how far down things are.
Here I am, halfway across the bridge. Maria and David, who are from Mexico and are here on their honeymoon, helped out with this picture.
Here I am, halfway across the bridge. Maria and David, who are from Mexico and are here on their honeymoon, helped out with this picture.
This is the view down from the bridge at about the half-way point. It's around a hundred feet down to the water and rocks.
This is the view down from the bridge at about the half-way point. It’s around a hundred feet down to the water and rocks.
They have put up new fences to keep visitors from trampling over the fields where wildflowers will be sprouting soon.
They have put up new fences to keep visitors from trampling over the fields where wildflowers will be sprouting soon.

After this, it was back to the bus, and back to Belfast. My legs are worn out, and I’m going to bed soon.

Those of you who have been looking at my itinerary have probably noticed that I didn’t go to the Ghost Walk last night. That’s because the schedule has changed, and they only run on Wednesdays and weekends. I’m going to try and make that tomorrow night.

I’m reserving judgement on what I’m going to do tomorrow until I see how well I recover from the exertions of today. I had planned to make it out to the Giant’s Ring, and maybe to Downpatrick, but I may try for Marble Arch Caves tomorrow if I’m still tired. Or I may just decide to try and see some of the places in Belfast I haven’t made it to, yet. I haven’t got anything definitively booked, so I can be flexible tomorrow.

In other words, stay tuned. Not even I know what I’m going to do!

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