Travel Journal April 24, 1999
Ulster's North Coast.

Northern Ireland

After getting up, I backtracked about a mile to get to Dunluce castle. A nice old ruin, apparently part of the castle (the kitchen) was blown out to sea during a storm.




Particularly interesting is what's under the castle - a cave which leads out to sea.


The obligatory texture shot:


A few miles down the coast is the Bushmill's Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery in the world. While I admit I found the tour interesting, I was rather miffed by the fact that they did not allow photographs on the factory floor. I did try some of the whiskey samples at the end of the tour (after the two volunteer testers got through with them) but unfortunately it tasted as bad to me as any other whiskey tastes.

Next came the Giant's Causeway, a very strange rock formation composed of thousands of vertical polygonal columns of rock, most of which are six-sided. The whole formation extends out to sea for several hundred feet, and reminds one of a strange sort of puzzle, an enlarged version of one of the toys you might buy at a science museum.



If you look closely, you can see that the nearby cliffs have a similar formation half-way up the cliff face.

Standing on the pillars, you can imagine yourself as a giant playing piece in some sort of surrealist chess game. It would be an interesting exercise to invent a game which could be played using the Giant's Causeway as the game board.


Here's a texture shot of the algae in one of the hollows.


A few more shots taken from the coast.


This is where the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (a local tourist attraction) would have been had it been later in the year.

I spent the rest of the day driving back to Dublin. I did pass through the Glens of Antrim, but I found little there of note - just more of the same artifical plantation forest, for which I have already sufficiently griped. Most of the other sights along the east coast I skipped.

I never did get a chance to visit the Comhaltas Ceoltorri music school that Richard mentioned. It's supposedly in Monkstown, near Dublin, but Monkstown isn't listed on my map.