Starting in Dublin, we headed north to join the Coastal route including the Wild Atlantic route . We plan on avoiding the main cities like Belfast and Londonderry and travelling through the smaller villages. Weather is always a point of discussion here in Ireland. It’s cold and windy but before the day is over we experience cloud,rain,sleet,snow,sunshine,more rain, more snow and of course more sunshine……we only missed hail!
Our first port of call was near the Giants Causeway in a hotel built in 1836. A short walk down the cliff from the hotel is the rock formations created thousands of years ago by volcanic action. The soft rocks have worn away leaving the columns and stepping stones that make up the Causeway.
Now you can’t have a wonderful natural formation without a legend in this case that Finn McCool wished to conquer Scotland . He built the causeway but the Scottish giant Benandonner came across the causeway looking for Finn. Finn realised he was considerably bigger than he was and pretended,with the help of his wife , to be a giant baby. The Scottish giant ran back across the causeway scattering the rocks and destroying the link between Scotland and Ireland. At the visitor centre you can see history of the many people who have been linked through their stories to the Causeway.
Just down the road is the rope bridge of Carrick -a- Rede. Fisherman would put a rope bridge across from the mainland to a small island. Salmon would pass through a narrow gap between the islands and would be easier to catch. The steepness of the access to the bridge and the crossing must have been quite a feat for the fishermen especially when you consider how difficult it would be to them to get their catch to market. No, howling wind and those behind you jiggling on the bridge, I did not cross the bridge.
Fannad Head Lighthouse was our next point. There has been a lighthouse here since 1817. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world…..closed at 11.00 am today so viewed from afar like Doe castle. This was the site of family and political dramas.
In this area the chief attraction is the spectacular sea scape. Snow covers the mountains and fields and then all of the sudden there is green fields like a patchwork. Peat bogs ,grass, marshes and then sheer cliffs, and the wild ocean. Small villages border the road and are scattered on the hillsides.