IRELAND: Part Two, Dublin to Lifford
Sunday, June 14
Awoke to the smell of fried breakfast, and overcast skies. Showered (refreshed!), dressed, and proceeded downstairs for
1) bowl of muesli w/yogurt
2) Irish brown bread with Irish butter
3) plate of "fried", comprised of
a) sausage links (4)
b) ham bacon(2)
c) fried egg (1)
d) another type of sausage (1)
e) "egg bake" (1)
f) fried toast (just what it sounds like) (1)
g) tomato wedges (4)
4) toasted, non-fried toast
5) french press coffee
not partaken of were the cheeses, scones, and other cereals. This prepared me for the day of driving ahead. We were off from Dun Laoghaire, north to Lifford, about 140 miles, but first a detour to Dublin International to retrieve my misplaced camera. We parked in the short-term ramp, called Aer Lingus at the Baggage Phone, and went to meet the baggage claim rep. Ten minutes later I had my camera back and we were back on the road north, to Lifford.
We stopped for a quick lunch in Mongahan, then back on the road until we found our farmhouse B&B in Lifford, a bit outside of Derry. Checked in, took a nap, and then took a walk with Rocky, the farm dog.
We decided to "stay in" for the evening, and bought cheese and crackers and some other snacks, along with a bottle of wine. Back at the farm, we settled down in front of the laptop to watch a DVD episode of Cracker that we had brought across the pond. (More on our Cracker obsession in another post.)
Monday, June 15
Another fantastic breakfast, then a quick stop in Derry for an ATM with pounds sterling. Ireland uses the Euro, but Northern Ireland uses pounds. We needed ponds to pay our admission to our first destination, the Old Bushmills Distillery.
We learned many things, saw the triple distillation process, and got a choice of sample whiskey at the end of our tour. It was a fine beginning to our day.
From the distillery we headed up the coast to the Giant's Causeway, a natural (or created by giants, perhaps) rock formation that looks very unnatural.
After a take-away sandwich lunch from the Causeway Café, Val introduced me to something called the 99, a soft serve ice cream cone with a stick of chocolate flake. Perfect treat!
Onward to the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. A short drive and a little hike along the coast gets you to the bridge.
Just as we got to the little line to wait to cross the bridge (only 8 people on the bridge at a time, please) a classic Irish mist rolled in along the coast. It was like we had called ahead and requested the scene.
Our turn to cross the bridge, and a little walk around a little island.
Next, to the ruins of Dunluce Castle, originally located on the coast in the 1200s for defensive purposes, which eventually backfired in the 1600s when half the kitchen fell into the sea one evening. We didn't stay for dinner.
You may also recognize the Causeway and the Castle from Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy, if you've ever owned that LP.
After the Causeway coast, we headed back toward Derry for the evening and some dinner. It seemed like a simple enough idea, but I will save our Derry experience for my next post.