Ballymane? Ballymoney? Where am I going?
Thursday started with a trip to the Bushmills distillery on the North Coast. I drove from Derry, leaving pretty early, so the coast was very foggy, and I figured what better way to pass the time waiting for the fog to burn off than by having 12-year-old whiskey at 11 in the morning? Plus, last time I was here I visited the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery, so how could I miss Bushmills? I guess all that’s left is Bailey’s. I’m also surprised to find I rather liked the whiskey. Huh. Didn’t think I liked the really hard stuff, but after enjoying bourbon a few weeks ago and now this – maybe I’m growing up!
After that it was a very quick drive to Giant’s Causeway. Finn McCool (I think) is the giant that gives the geological site it’s name. Google him for the story. It’s kind of entertaining. Anyway, there are some gorgeous cliffs there, and great hiking, but the coolest are these huge stones that kind of remind me of those oyster cracker they give out with soup. Anyway, they are pretty big, and just not what one would expect to find. I spent about an hour just walking around, then went on to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. Basically, it’s this 30-meter-high bridge the local fishermen put up each March and take down in the fall to get out to this little island which is right in the salmon migration path. The water was amazingly clear – I really wanted to try to go in, but there wasn’t really a good way to get to the beach. It reminded me a bit like Vieques, or even Lake Tahoe on a really good day. I took loads of pictures, so you’ll get to see.
I got back into Belfast around 4, returned the car, and relaxed. This morning, up early again to catch the train to Dublin, where I’ve been exploring for the past few hours. Vanessa is about to meet me, and then we head to a suburb where a party is being held for one of her friends. A perfect way to end a fabulous trip! Back in NYC by afternoon tomorrow . . . looking forward to my own bed.