IRELAND


(Ireland Flag)


(Ireland Map)


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2008:

DUBLIN

My plane landed in Dublin, Ireland before sunrise.
I arrived at the Morrison Hotel in downtown Dublin around 6:00 A.M.


All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

The River Liffey runs through the center of Dublin.
The middle photo is the Ha'penny Bridge, a pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey.
Left, Trinity College, was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I.
River Liffey Ha'penny Bridge over River Liffey Trinity College


O'Connell Street is Dublin's main thoroughfare. One of Europe's widest streets.
O'Connell Street Bridge O'Connell Street O'Connell Street


Left, The Custom House, is a neoclassical 18th century building which houses the Department of Environment.
Center, Christ Church Cathedral, is the elder of the city's two mediŠval cathedrals.
Right, Guinness Brewery, a popular dry stout that originated in Arthur Guinness' brewery at St. James's Gate.
Custom House Christ Church Cathedral Guinness Brewery


DUBLIN, IRELAND VIDEO
16 minute video of Dublin, Ireland.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2008
Hello again,

My hopes of getting much sleep on the plane didn't pan out. They didn't serve dinner until the middle of the flight and I think our Aer Lingus pilot was trying to set some kind of speed record as we landed in Dublin way early not much more than five hours after we left Boston.

The sun was rising as I took a cab from the Dublin Airport to my downtown hotel. I was very surprised that they were able to give me my room as it wasn't even 7:00 yet when I arrived. I tried to grab a nap as I only had about 30 minutes of sleep on the plane. But even though I was tired I couldn't get to sleep. So around 9:00 I set out to explore the city. The picture below is of the River Liffey. The building on the extreme right of the picture is the Morrison Hotel where I am staying.



Dublin is a very busy and bustling city. No modern skyscrapers here. I walked around the city for a while, then took a cruise down the River Liffey which runs through the center of town. Pictured below is the O'Connell Street bridge over the River Liffey.



Below is the statue of Sir John Gray on busy O'Connell Street.



Next I road the open topped hop-on, hop-off tour bus around the city. By midday I was getting quite tired and I had to be up very early on Thursday for my planned activities. So I grabbed a quick bite to eat and got some much needed sleep. Pictured below is the Guinness Brewery that we passed on the bus.



More Later,

Tim
Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.



THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2008:

NORTHERN  IRELAND'S  ANTRIM  COAST

I took the early morning train to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
From there I began my tour of Northern Ireland's beautiful Antrim Coast.
The A2, a major road in Northern Ireland, often called the Antrim Coast Road The scenic Glens of Antrim Sheep graze in the fertile fields along the Antrim Coast


Carnlough is a village situated at the foot of Glencloy, the second of the nine Glens of Antrim.
The village of Carnlough The village of Carnlough The village of Carnlough


The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge that links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island.
Trail to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge


Carrick-a-rede means 'rock in the road'.
It is thought fishermen have been erecting bridges to the island for 350 years.
Sea cliffs around Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Sea cliffs around Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge


CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE VIDEO
4 minute video of the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge on Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast.



The Giant's Causeway is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.
It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
The Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway


The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns,
the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
The Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway


The Giant's Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom.
The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.
Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides.
The tallest are about 36 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 92 feet thick in places.
The Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway The Giant's Causeway


GIANT'S CAUSEWAY VIDEO
11 minute video of the Giant's Causeway on Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast.

After a quick photo stop at Dunluce Castle is was back to Belfast to catch the last train back to Dublin.
Dunluce Castle

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2008
Howdy All,

Got up very early to catch the 7:00am train to Belfast. It took just a little over two hours to get there. I would spend the rest of the day exploring the spectacular Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. From Belfast I joined a tour. Our first stop after leaving Belfast was quick photo stop of Ballygally Castle in Ballygally.



We then continued on our way hugging the coast as we traveled north to the fishing village of Carnlough. You really felt like you were in Ireland here.



We continued passing through many coastal villages with great views of the sea on the right and the mountains (or the Glens of Antrim) on the left. It was a typical day in Ireland, mostly cloudy, occasional light rain but some peaks of sun too. But when we were out of the bus it never rained.

Our next stop was the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. We walked across the rope bridge spanning a chasm of some eighty feet. Well, most of us crossed it, some chickened out and just took pictures of us brave soles who weren't afraid of falling to our death. There were no casualties today though.



The next stop was at Old Bushmills Distillery. I didn't sample any of their fine whiskey. Just the smell of it was enough to make me nauseous.



The next stop was the highlight of the day, The Giant's Causeway. Below you can see the path down to the causeway.



Here 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption jut out into the sea.



I really got my exercise here. Climbing all around the rocks and to the top of the huge cliffs surrounding the area.



Below is the view from the top of the cliff. We had over two and a half hours here. Which was supposed to include time to eat. I spent the whole time exploring the area. I could eat later. I thought it was funny how our tour guide went on and on about how wonderful the food was at the Causeway Hotel. Barely mentioning the Causeway itself, which is often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world.



Our final stop of the day was at Dunluce Castle very near the Causeway. Below is an awful picture of it through the tinted bus window.



It was then back to Belfast from there. It had taken us all day to get to this point along the Atlantic Coast. But our return to Belfast only took a little over an hour by the inland motorway.

We got back to Belfast just in time to catch the last train to Dublin at 8:10pm. I watched the sun set behind the beautiful green hills of Ireland as the train made its way back to Dublin. It was a fantastic day. Our Irish tour guide was fun and full of colorful stories.

It was about a twenty minute walk back to the hotel from the train station at 11:00pm when I got back to Dublin. Passing the numerous bars and pubs along the way. Many colorful folks out and about at that hour. Tales of the Irish liking to drink apparently aren't exaggerated.

Today's tour was great. Got to see a lot of great places in a small amount of time. A necessity since I only have two days in Ireland. But it would have been nice to have had more time to spend in these beautiful places rather than having to rush through them heading off to the next place.

More Later,

Tim
Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.

IRELAND VIDEO
36 minute video of my 2 days spent in Ireland.


Click on the arrow above to continue to my next adventure, SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND.

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