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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Portrush, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Jul 10, 2017 - Delighting in Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast

Tuesday, July 5 Today we have a long drive ahead of us as we struck out for the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland between Derry (to the Irish) or Londonderry (to the British) and Belfast. Our route took us by Sligo and Donegal in northwestern Ireland. We stopped at a place called the Gap Coffee House on the highway just before crossing the border near Derry in mid-afternoon. Geographically, Derry is on the predominately Catholic Ireland side of the river separating the two countries but, politically, is part of predominately Protestant...

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Oct 5, 2016 - Giant's Causeway

We get out of the bus at the visitors center. Our camera batteries are shot, Chris had picked up spares a couple of days ago. We carry a small backpack with our essentials(including 2 raincoats and 2 umbrellas that have not been needed) for the day and the rest of the luggage and another larger backpack is stowed in the bus's lower compartment. We do not go into the compartment but Chris asks Sean to let him get the batteries. Do you think he could find them, no. So, off we go with no spare batteries. This is the other location on our must...

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Sep 30, 2016 - Portrush - Giant's Causeway & Carrick-a-Rede

Today proved to be about meeting people and lots of climbing. I went adventuring from the lovely town of Portrush to see a smaller version called Port Stewart, and you will see two pictures from that town. My next adventure took me to a fact filled overlook called Magheracross. This actually means "plain of the cross," and was the busiest Celtic sea road between ancient Ireland and Scotland. The Irish called this busy marine thoroughfare the "bridge of currachs," with a currach being a round type Irish boat. From what I have read about...

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Sep 29, 2016 - Portrush - Day 1

If I were a sailor, today I would have been a happy man. The winds were almost howling from the time I left Westport until I arrived in Portrush. However, I am not a sailor, but I am still a happy man. One last bit about driving in Ireland, then I promise not to raise the subject again. Okay, it's actually two things. First, in a previous update, I told you about the different roads in Ireland. One of them are L roads, presumably Local but I call them Lanes. Included are three pictures of such a place. Bear in mind the width of the...

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Aug 18, 2016 - Adventures from Portrush

We arrived in Portrush after a rainy bus trip, but on Thursday the weather was perfect. Using Portrush as our base, we spent the day hiking at the Giant's Causeway, touring Bushmills, hiking again at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and winding up at Dunluce Castle. After a damp day in Derry, we couldn't believe we had such glorious weather today. The Giant's Causeway has great Irish legends about the Irish and Scottish giants feuding; there are geological explanations for these formations, but these are generally dismissed in favor of the...

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Jun 17, 2016 - Dunluce Castle, The Giant's Causeway, and The Dark Hedges

Another great day in Ireland! We woke up to sunshine and it stayed all day! We relaxed for awhile this morning because we are all a bit tired today. Had some breakfast at the local bakery. It cost less than $5 for all of us. Our first stop today was Dunluce Castle. Dunluce Castle was constructed in the first two decades of the 17th century by Randal McDonnell, the 1st Earl of Antrim. It is a beautiful castle sitting right on the cliffs overlooking the sea. In fact, in the 1800's, part of the kitchen fell off the cliff into the sea! We...

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Jun 16, 2016 - First Day in Ireland

Our first day in Ireland has been completely amazing! To say I LOVE it here would be a gross understatement. It was overcast and misty today, which added to the mystical nature of this country. We started our morning out with a traditional Irish breakfast called an Ulster Fry. It consisted of an egg on top of a bagel type bread, potato bread (which was similar to a pancake), soda bread, sausage, and a roasted tomato. It was a fantastic meal and extremely filling. After breakfast, we went to tour Carrickfergus Castle. The kids were pretty...

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Aug 31, 2015 - Westport to Portrush via Derry

August 31-Travel to Portrush This is mostly a travel day, but we take stops every few hours for the bus driver and for us, so the Rick Steves folks look for interesting plaves to stop so we do more than just get coffee and got to the bathroom. So our first stop was the burial place of W. B. Yeats, the great Irish poet. Drumcliff is in County Sligo Ireland and was founded around 575 AD. Yeats is buried in the graveyard at the St. Columba Church of Ireland. Yeats grandfather had been rector there. We looked at the grave and pondered the words...

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May 25, 2015 - Cliffs, clouds, and remeberence

This is the part of the trip that we knew would be the longest - making our way from Dingle, in the southwest, to the Antrim coast at the upper-most tip of Northern Ireland. While we would have liked to take 3-4 days to make this trip, time and other stops allowed us two. With an early start, we left a cloudy, foggy Dingle, headed over Connor Pass just north of town and in about 4 miles got to the summit - and glorious sunshine! The views were amazing - the long stretches of white sand beaches, dark cliffs, rolling green meadows and...

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Aug 15, 2013 - August 15 Around the Antrim Coast

Giants Causeway, Distillery, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle Today we boarded the bus after a nice buffet breakfast. It was a 15 minute drive to the Giants Causeway. We got there just as it was opening so we beat the Germans. This five mile stretch along the Antrim Coast. It is famous for its basalt columns. The causeway was formed by volcanic eruptions amore than 60 million years ago. However, in actuality it w made by a giant Ulster warrior named Finn MacCool built a stone bridge over to the Scottish island of Staffa to...

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Trip Journal


Ireland 2013

Aug 14, 2013 - August 14. Road to Portrush

Happy Anniversary #42! What a way to spend your anniversary--in Ireland! We awoke to a nice and early breakfast at the hotel in order to load the bus and leave Westport by 8AM sharp; however, it was more like 8 ish. North Ireland is not an independent state so it has NO official country name. It is 45% Protestant and 40% catholic. It is highly segregated along religious, political and cultural lines. The flag is officially the Union flag of the United Kingdom. However, the Nationalists fly the tricolor Irish flag and the northern Irish...

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Trip Journal


Ireland 2013

Sep 24, 2010 - Bushmills And Dunluce Castle

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Dunluce Castle dating back to the 13th century was the main fortress of the MacDonnells, chiefs of Antrim, from 1620 following what came to be known as the ‘Flight of the Earls’ when the Irish nobles fled to Europe in 1607. They built a grand Renaissance-style manor house within original walls. Part of the castle collapsed into the sea in 1639, taking seven servants with it. It’s possible to cross a narrow bridge leading from the mainland courtyard to the fortress itself, but the gap below is not for the faint of heart....

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