Posted by Daniella Franco
One of the most charming places I have ever been to. From all the places I know, this was my favorite travel. Landscapes worth of a movie set, everything I saw in July 2008 is carved so strongly in my memory that every now and then I dream that I am back to this magical little piece of the world.
The good surprises came partially because I joined the adventure of knowing the UK by accident. My boyfriend was going to attend a congress in Dublin, and I tagged along. A group of classmates planned the trip and decided the places we would visit.
Giants Causeway: unforgettable
Located in Antrim County (northeast coast of Northern Ireland), GIANT’S CAUSEWAY is the most amazing place I have ever seen. The landscape is the result of a volcanic eruption and started many legends, whose main character would be a giant warrior.
Mountain in Giant’s Causeway
Stories aside, there are around 40 thousand stones sculpted by nature; hexagons that fit together in 1 km between the ocean and the mountain.
From the mountain top
Giant’s Causeway was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986 and National Nature Reserve in the following year. It is a fascinating place, where all you want to do is admire it for hours. I have no doubt I will go back there as many times as possible.
Still on the northeast coast, we visited Ballintoy. It is specially known for CARRICK-A-REDE, a 20 meters rope bridge that links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island.
20 m ahead and 30 m down
Contemplation in Carrick-a-Rede
For the nature lovers, this is a must-see. The beauty of this uninhabited region is a little spoiled by the relief of the coast.
If you are as lucky as us, you will be able to spot the penguins that live around the island and dolphins that do not show up so often – to the surprise of the local guards.
Near Carrick-a-Rede, we also visited DUNLUCE CASTLE, a now-ruined medieval castle. Built in the 13th century by Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, it was the home of clan families until the late 1600s, when there was the Battle of the Boyne. Since then, the castle has deteriorated and parts of it have been used as materials for nearby buildings. It is located on the edge of a mountain and it is open for visits, totally worthwhile.
Dunluce Castle - (copyright Michaël Adam)
10°C and the Irish are surfing
And not to say that we did not enjoy the beaches in the strong summer weather (10°C is hot in this region where it rains almost every day), we went to WHITEROCKS BEACH, around Dunluce Castle. I must confess I was more surprised by the surfers in the freezing ocean than by the color of the sedimentary rocks. At the entrance, there was a sign advising people to be careful with the sun, even though it did not show up while we were in the country.
In the land of civilization, where the pubs open for business very early, we had a strategic stop at CARNLOUGH, a small village near Coleraine where we saw the local harbour.
Fifteen kilometers from Coleraine, we visited OLD BUSHMILLS, the oldest working distillery in County Antrim, since 1608. A guide explained all the stages of producing whiskey, and in the end we were allowed to choose a beverage to taste. As I hate whiskey (I went under peer pressure), I had some sweet tea with a dash of whiskey and cinnamon.
TAKE NOTE 1
I was not entirely convinced by the sign to be careful with the sun, and I really do not think it is so hot, even at the height of summer in Europe. We left France and its 30°C and caught rain, heavy wind and temperatures between 10°C to15°C for a week.
The boys had taken boots, hats and raincoats – which I strongly recommend and promise to pack next time I go to Northern Ireland. Just for the record, the girl wearing a knife pleat skirt in the Carrick-a-Rede picture c’est moi. I advise you not to do so without supervision and/or a rescue team. Local people wear shorts and T-shirts, as if they were in the northeast of Brazil, not in Northern Ireland. In other words, do not be misled by their clothes; I suspect those guys are waterproof.
Do not worry about taking an umbrella, you can buy one anywhere. I know, you just thought “How come I am not taking an umbrella?” Been there, done that – until I spent 5 endless minutes under heavy rain and gelid wind that drowned my clothes and good mood. Only then I changed my mind, entered the first store I saw and bought the most beautiful blue and white polka dot umbrella. I never thought happiness could come down to so little.
TAKE NOTE 2
How to get there
: Train to Dublin, through Belfast to Coleraine, where we stayed and rented a car to explore the region. Check train routes and fees between the two Irelands at TRANSLINK
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
© All rights reserved. Pictures and report 100% originals.
Portuguese originally published in 2/16/2011
Segunda-feira, 3 de Outubro, 2011 23:11
Very cool. My compliments. I have never been there but I was at an Irish community Oktoberfest in New York city and it was very cool. I will post some pictures when I write again about that wonderful metropolis.
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 19:10
Bruno, vai me dizer q sao as pessoas q criam a lava?
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 15:56
Parabéns pelas fotos!
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 15:04
aaa os países nórdicos.. ( sonhando aqui )
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 10:40
Sou pobre. :(
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 10:40
Oi, Bruno! Valeu por adicionar as infos sobre as rochas!
E, Rodrigo, procurei onde foi gravado o seriado Lost e não encontrei nenhuma informação relativa à Giant's Causeway ou Giant's Boot. Vamos ficar devendo essa...
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 08:58
Só pra constar, essas rochas não foram esculpidas pela natureza, elas são formadas assim, normalmente em topos de derrames de lavas básicas/ácidas, aqui no Brasil temos muitos lugares com esse tipo litológico, porém em nenhum sítio deste tamanho, procure por diáclase ou disjunção vertical de basalto, e pedras de cambira ;)
Terça-feira, 27 de Setembro, 2011 08:22
Nossa,um lugar que gostaria de ir um dia,belo post!
Segunda-feira, 26 de Setembro, 2011 12:25
É a bota do pé da ilha de LOST?
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