Grampa on the beach

"Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" -- official designation of the Antrim Coast
by the British government.

June 19th & 20th, 1999:

Intense wind on the Antrim CoastWe've decided we need to work on our touring timing. The weather in Belfast was beautiful the day before we left and we spent it inside working on our computer. The day we toured the Antrim coast the weather was lousy.

Rain on the Antrim Coast Dark rain and whipping winds kept us crawling in our green van as we struggled up 15% grades and around hairpin turns.

In the end we decided to stop at Ballycastle and save the rest of the coast for the next day.


Blue skies on the coast   

The next day we were glad of our decision.

Golphers in the ruinsThe locals appreciated the better weather too. We learned that three of the Top Ten rated golf courses in the world are on the tiny Isle of Ireland. (Look carefully and you'll see the 15c friary ruin hazard in the background).



Corrymeela Crei   

We hiked along the coast from Ballycastle to Corrymeela. They had a retreat going on led by Native American Indian chiefs and were preparing for 100 foreign students, some from Serbia and Kosovo.

Corrymeela is...   

The building to the left is their Crei (meaning 'heart' in the Irish language), of center of worship. The curved room inside has the magical property where one can clearly hear words whispered. from across the room.


Castle Kinbane   

We saddled up in our van and drove westward. On our way to the Giant's Causeway we found the lowly but lovely castle Kinbane.

Castle and the coastIt's a drop of almost two hundred feet straight down those cliffs. We wondered how knights ever got their horses to and from their castle.

Perhaps the view was worth the commute?

These little castles litter the coastline. Every major family had to have one and had to try with all their might to tear down their rival's. Hence the ruined nature of them all.

Van and weather changesAnother half hour and two weather changes down the road, we found the Giant's Causeway.

Giant's Causeway with PeopleThe UN designates sites of natural heritage throughout the world. Things like the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China get this distinction. The Giant's Causeway is the only site in Ireland on this list.

Stone bridge on the sea   

Legend has it the giant Finn McCool built a bridge to Scotland to challenge his rival across the sea. But when his rival showed up, he was much bigger than Finn expected. So McCool dressed up as a baby and had his wife rock him in a giant cradle. When the rival saw how big the son was, he fled in terror of the father, smashing the bridge as he went to prevent pursuit.

Henry moves carefully on the slippery steps   


Today the Causeway feels as if one is climbing on a giant set of petrified Lincoln logs laid on end.


Kath shelters from the rain   

We had to shelter from the brutal rainstorm that whipped inland while we were there. A half hour later and it was gone, blue sky returning.


He-man climber   

We met some other Americans there who climbed up the 40 foot tall hexagonal stones.

We're sure he felt like a giant on top.



Goodbye Antrim Coast   

Find us in Derry (Londonderry) and the Ring Fort of Grianan of Aileagh

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