Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Day Trip in Northern Ireland

The ruins of Dunluce Castle. 
The day after we arrived in Northern Ireland, Thomas took a group of us on a lovely trip up to the northern coast of Northern Ireland. 
The route we took from Dungannon north to the Giant's Causeway

Our first stop was in Portstewart on the northern coast. 

Thomas was our tour guide for the day.
Robin enjoying the view out over the North Atlantic.

At some point, I believe when Thomas was in University, he lived here.  This is where we found the Donut Tree, their version of our Krispy Kreme. 
At some point Thomas lived in the apartment above the blue building.  He sure had a nice view.

James about to order a donut at the Donut Tree.  (James is a delight, and he was a great help to Joan and me on this trip.)
The ruins of Dunluce Castle along the northern coast of Northern Ireland.

Then we made our way along the coast we stopped by the ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle.  Lovely!!!! ! Dunluce Castle is located close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea.  It was abandoned shortly after part of the castle fell into the sea on a stormy night in 1639. 

Dunluce Castle is regarded as the possible inspiration for Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.

We finally arrived at our final destination, the Giant's Causeway.  We walked all the way down to the bottom where we saw the columns of basalt laid down by an ancient volcano.  (But most of us took the bus back up.  Some of the younger walked or possibly ran all the way back. )

Stepping stones of basalt laid down by nature.
Thomas points out a feature to Joan.

Here I am standing at the base of the basalt columns perfectly formed as a result of a volcano some 50 million years ago.
We saw much of the beauty of Northern Ireland on this day trip.  Enough to make me want to go back and explore more though.  Thank you Thomas.

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