Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Giant's Causeway

It's funny how sometimes the shortest distances make for the longest days. It was that way today. Our intent was to head for The Giant's Causeway, do an exploration, then head out to Londonderry for dinner. The Giant's Causeway is only 7 miles from Ashlea Cottages where we are staying. It's also as far as we got today.

It's not that we didn't try. We got a late start at 1:00 PM, but we got started. We headed for the town of Bushmills, home of the famous Irish Whiskey distillery, and home to one of the regions finest old restaurants, the Bushmills Inn. On arriving in Bushmills, I made the mistake of heading for the distillery where I though the restaurant was located. Wrong. Nonetheless we checked out the distillery. Seeing another distillery is low on my list, as is buying more distillery trinkets and product. It's not on David's list at all. So, after a brief browse, we headed back into the village for a late lunch, at around 2:30 PM or so.

The Bushmills Inn was established around the same time as the distillery was granted its license. This is not to say that either did not exist before that time, in 1608. It is just to say that this is the official timing for Bushmills Distillery, and for the Bushmills Inn. The oldest part of this lovely building dates from that time. The oldest part is also the restaurant and bar. So we had a drink, and a terrific lunch, in an inn which was some 400 years old, possibly older. The newer part of the inn is the rooms and "new" main entry, which dates from the mid 1800's.

After lunch we struggled our way over to the Giant's Causeway. This is a basalt formation of hexagonal columned rock, spread over a large section of seashore. There is many a myth and tale of this landform, which you can find here, It's a terrific place. David took full advantage of it, climbing one of the columnar cliffs and taking pictures galore. I managed to get to the base of the cliffs, thanks to a bus ride down from the Visitor's Centre. David took the bus too. He needed it for the ride up the hill after climbing the rocks.

After exploring the Causeway, we headed into the Causeway Hotel, ostensibly for a coffee. I kind of went off the page, ordering a coffee with Bailey's along with a scone and clotted cream. It was a wonderful snack. David order just coffee, finished it, then sat back to snooze in the comfy chair in the hotel lounge where we had this delicious break. Soon an hour passed, and more. David was happy in the chair, and suddenly it was 6:00 PM. We gave up on Londonderry sometime during that rest break. Instead, we headed back to our cottage to do some laundry and take it easy.

Seven miles there, a walk on the rocks, seven miles back. Yet the day was more than enough for both of us. Remember, every time we go somewhere, David pushes me. He gets a lot more of a workout than I do. Let's hope both of us are in good shape tomorrow for the drive down the Antrim County road known as the Coastal Causeway Route, perhaps one of the greatest drives on earth when it comes to beauty, history, and charm.

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