Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Heart Northern Ireland

After the better part of an afternoon in Belfast we headed for Portrush along the A2/Antrim Coast Road. Not sure what we were expecting but were amazed at how beautiful the drive was...despite the rain, snow and hail we encounter along the way!

It was freezing! And windy! But gorgeous!!

The water was crystal clear and when the sun was out it was blue like I have never seen! Parts of the drive reminded me of Highway 1 in California. Every 2 or 3 miles I was begging for Chris to pull over for a photo opportunity... eventually, he just stayed in the car while I froze! But the pictures were worth it ;-)
All these pictures were taken on the same sporadic day. So far we've had some dark clouds and a little rain... still to come heavy rain, snow and hail!

Seems like all our trips within the UK include graveyards and sheep. Now where are those sheep???

Happy Sheep!

And here comes the snow...

This is the view of Portrush Harbor from our B&B. Please note the snow on the roofs.
We got in to Portrush around 5 and met my friend Steven for a quick drink. Within 20 minutes of heading into the pub there was a full on hail storm! Hail the size of marbles was pouring out of the sky for about 2 hours!!! And when we woke up the next morning there was about 2 or 3 inches of snow!

Steven and Ray... on the snow covered beach!

Look at the smile on my face.
A Florida Girl standing on a snow covered beach in coat, gloves, and scarf.

Steven and I.
We travelled to Northern Ireland to see Steven off to Australia. But then he decided to stay in London. I think the whole thing was just a ploy to get us to his hometown ;-)

While the snow made driving and walking a bit treacherous... it sure does make for pretty pictures!

Where is my coat?
Silly Florida Girl, just because the sun is shining does not mean that it is warm!!!

Dunluce Castle. Picture Perfect!

The Giant's Causeway. Built by the Irish Giant, Finn McCool, to get to Scotland to fight the Scottish Giant. The Scot was so much larger than Finn that he was horrified and ran away. His wife dressed him as a baby and when the Scot Giant saw him he thought that it was Finn's baby and that the father must be gigantic so he ran away destroying the causeway as he fled! Or it was caused by the cooling of volcanic lava... whatever.
Whatever or whoever built the causeway, it was impressive. Steven was a brilliant tour guide... he told his own version of local folklore which I found entertaining... even more entertaining was when he heard the more accurate versions at the visitors centre!

The morning after the "Going Away" party, Chris and I headed back to Belfast. Our plan was to tour Bushmill's Distillery and then take the less scenic but faster route back to Belfast. However, Bushmill's had other plans for us so we just retraced the original route but detoured through a forest road. It was a lovely ride but true to my nature I was asleep for about an hour!

Before my nap, we stopped to check out the beach. Try as we might we couldn't find the pot o'gold at the end of this rainbow!! Maybe on our next trip!

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