Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Wet and Windy Weekend

The Giant's Causeway on a Rainy Afternoon I

Hello folks! How’re you all this evening then? I’ve just about warmed up again after a weekend off gallivanting ’round the countryside. My god it can rain in this place! We were up at the Causeway Coast for a friend’s hen and seriously, the weather was wild. Would blow the head off ye, as they say round here. Great fun though!

Anyway,  while it didn’t spoil the craic too much, the bone-saturating-sogginess did mean we weren’t able to show off how utterly spectacular a spot it is to any of the English girls who’d come along.  And that the photos I’d planned on taking to show it off to you guys didn’t come out quite so scenic either! Typical, the weather’s beautiful now everyone’s away home again.

Ah well, sure it’ll give me a good excuse to head back some day during the summer; it’s only up the road from me really but my lack of transportation means I’ll have to wait for the tourist buses to start up again. For now these dreary shots will have to do. (Click on each of them for one or two more in Flickr.)
The Giant's Causeway on a Rainy Afternoon II

The Giant’s Causeway
On a clear day you can actually see both Scotland and Donegal at the same time from here. I’m not going to get into the myth and legend of the place now, if you’re not already familiar with it ask Google. All I’ll say is that it’s a place of many happy memories for me. We used to go up all the time when we were wee and the stones and stories made for hours of fun.

Mussenden Temple I

Mussenden Temple
I always thought this place was just a little tourist attraction, built back when the area was one of the most popular tourist destinations in Victorian Britain, but when I looked it up there I found out it’s actually much older. Turns out it was originally a library built as part of a larger estate in the 1700s, the ruins of which you can access quite easily. Usually - when we were up at the weekend the field you have to traipse through to get to it was just too mucky. 

Mussenden Temple II

You know, when I was at college I used to get the train that goes through the tunnel directly underneath the temple all the time and that part of the journey was always my favourite. On down the track a little bit the cliffs are lined with waterfalls, so as you travel past you have the crashing Atlantic waves on one side and those on the other. It’s magical. I really must grab my sister’s SLR and head up there some sunny day.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
 What can I say, I’m just a big chicken. A chicken with vertigo, who gets dizzy changing a light bulb. So no, I didn’t cross it. I’ve never crossed it, and probably never will. This time I actually bought the ticket to cross, but on the subsequent walk from the kiosk to the bridge I realised the only reason you had to actually buy the ticket was because The National Trust, who never charge admission fees, obviously must have to pay huge public liability insurance for the site. When I got there I asked the guy if anyone had ever fallen off, and he answered ‘not today’.  You might say that’s just a corny joke but when I pressed him he wouldn’t answer anything else! Hmmm… So no, I didn’t cross it. Pity too, apparently the wee island on the other side is really very pretty. 


Heathen said...

What a lovely spot...lucky you! I wouldn't have crossed that bridge either.

Robin Larkspur said...

I think your photos are beautiful..with a mysterious aura to them. That bridge looks way too scary...you exhibited good sense not to cross!!

Donna~Q~ said...

Thanks for a lovely photo tour! I especially like the Giant's Causeway ~ the perspective of the stones and the girl perched on the rock with her arms outstretched ~ perfect! For the record, that bridge would so be a no-go for me as well.

TheBlakkDuchess said...

You live in one of the most beautiful places on earth! Your pics are breath taking & make my heart ache for wanting to see them in person. ^-^
It's been super windy & rainy here too... I'm surprised there aren't more trees down (but happy there aren't!) ^-^
Hope you're able to dry out soon & that you have a most wonderful rest of your week! =D


Jeanne said...

Love the photos! Such an untamed place. And so full of mystery...

Do not blame you one little bit about not crossing the bridge. I have a terrible fear of heights myself and wouldn't go anywhere near it! When I grow my wings.....

And I would have loved to read about the pencils made from recycled newspapers. :0)

Anthropomorphica said...

Spectacular photos!!!!!!!! I think dreary weather makes it all the more atmospheric and it seems you had a blast anyway. You'll have to blindfold yourself next time and get across that bridge missy ;)
Thank you for this post, it reminds me of my lovely Grandmother, she used to holiday there when she was a little one.

Kathy said...

AMAZING!!!!!! What an incredible place. I would so love to see this!! I'm not sure I could cross that bridge. I might make it one way but coming back...uh-uh. These pictures are terrific. Looks like fun!

Gypsea Tree {Steam Spectre} said...

Ahhh Giants Causeway! I visited it at the tale end of tourist season and actually walked from the Ranger station to (and across!) the Carrick-a-Rede bridge. It was a long day spent with the sole company of myself. I was foot-sore and SO hungry by the end of the day, but in retrospect it was one of my favorite days in Ireland. It all happened because every time I asked the way to bridge every one kept telling me, "Oh it's just down the road there.." Following the coastal trail I think was a good 10-15 miles! A very friendly bus driver went out of his way to get me back "home" to Port Stewart that night. What a day... I love your pictures. I wish I was there!

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

I loved this! Thanks friend! What a place! ahhh...
Many blessings to you!

Róisín said...

Aw, glad you all liked the photos! Though in my opinion they really don't do the area justice.

Melanie - I'm happy I brought up happy memories for you. My granny used to holiday there too, even went to Portrush for her honeymoon, though she only lived about 30 miles down the road!

Laura - Your comment had me laughing out loud! Do you know there's actually a little hop-on-hop-off bus that goes along the road which you could've just walked up to it at any point and got on for a wee rest? Though it only operates at peak times and maybe if it was at the end of the summer it might've finished. And you stayed in Porstewart?! I actually lived in that strange wee town for several months a couple of years back! (So many old people...) You know I think it's very appropriate you did that walk. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but apparently it was one of THE things to do if you were a Victorian tourist. I remember ages ago you saying that you loved Victorian beach photography - I'm sure if you hunted around you'd find some lovely ones of the area :)

Anyway folks, thanks for all you kind comments. They brightened up my night :)

Gypsea Tree {Steam Spectre} said...

Haha! Yes, I was mostly on the coastal trail, but when I finally came out and started walking along the road the bus was not to be seen. I guess something inside me was forcing myself to follow some Victorian connection. I should have appreciated the lack of corset more! I'm definitely going to have to search for images. That does indeed sound like just my kind of thing...;-)
I hope you are well and seeing signs of spring!

Romantic Heroine said...

I am speechless. Your pictures are beautiful! I especially like the fourth one. I've been in Northern Ireland last year at this time, but only for a daytrip. Your photos bring back memories :)

I hope you had a great day.

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