September 2'nd to September 19'th 2007
 Giants Causeway

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Wednesday, September 5’Th

Bye-bye Belfast, and with route 252 the scenic route along the Antrim coast to Giants Causeway. The trip takes 3 hours and we pass towns like Ballycastle, Ballytoy, Ballycarry, Ballygally, Ballypatrick and Ballyvoy.

Shortly after 12 we arrive at the doorstep of the Causeway Hotel. I get inside and get the key to room 107. And that’s a nice room. It’s huge, there’s a TV, tea- and coffee, and my own little front-yard with a view across the Atlantic Ocean and the green hills of Antrim.

I’m hungry, but that’s not a problem. The pub “The Nook” is just outside. That’s a good place for some lunch and a pint, while a musician is playing “traditional Irish Music”.

Giants Causeway from above

Giants Causeway

Then it’s off to the sight of the place – the geological mystery of Giants Causeway. I take a detour-walk via the top of the cliffs, with great views downhill. At another geological mystery called The Organ you can go down to the lower path, which I follow to another look-out, before heading back towards Giants Causeway. But as I’m furthest away it starts to rain – a lot.

There’s nothing else to do, than return back to the hotel. It takes about 30 seconds for this drowned mouse to pass the Giants Causeway before heading up to the hotel. So now room 107 is especially nice. A few cups of coffee, some dry clothes and a little nap – and suddenly life are worth living again.

At 5 it has cleared and I can go downhill to take a second – and longer – look at Giants Causeway. It is made out of about 40.000 stones shaped like octagonal; standing close together making it some of the weirdest thing I have ever seen. You can walk on top of them if you are a little careful – of course they are still slippery.

There a different theories about the place. Some say it was made of volcanic activity 60 million. Years ago – but that’s the boring theory. I tend to prefer another theory, that it was the Irish giant Finn MacColl that built the causeway to go to Scotland to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner. When he got there, Benandonner was sleeping and Finn saw the other guy was much bigger. So he went back to Ireland. Benandonner got pissed by this, and went to Ireland instead. But the wife of Finn heard that he was coming and dressed Finn as a baby – and when Benandonner came he was quite surprised to see the size of a giant-baby – and certainly didn’t want to meet the real giant – and he retreated for Scotland again – pulling most parts of the causeway up on the way back, to make sure Finn would not be able to reach him anymore.

Giants Causeway

Thursday, September 6’Th

Bridge to Carrick-A-Rede

There are a few more sights around. Route 402 – or the Antrim Rambler – will take me there on a day-ticket. First stop is Carrick-a-Rede – or the rope bridge leading to Carrick-a-Rede. It’s a small one – 20 m long – 1 m wide – hanging 30 m above sea level. If you are afraid of heights – don’t go there. Usually it wasn’t meant for tourist, but for the local fisherman, that used the bridge for putting up nets for caching salmon passing between the small island of Carrick-a-Rede and the mainland. That’s how they did it for 200 years.

A few hours later 402 take me to the other end of the route – to Bushmills. It's a small town with a nice distillery. Bushmill was allowed by King James I to produce Whisky back in 1608. Well – in fact they’ve done it for a few hundred years before that, but that was illegal.

There’s a very nice tour. You get to see the whole production, packing etc. It hurts to see something go wrong during packing, and see them put 20-30 good bottles of whisky into the sink. It is also worth mentioning that Bushmills won the prestigious title as “Loo of the year 2006”.

From Carrick-A-Rede

Bushmills Distillery

You end up in the tasting-room – well that’s what we are here for anyone. I test a 10 year old single-malt. The bartender is not happy about my suggestion about ice – but a little sip of water is ok.

Then it’s back to the hotel, where the rest of the day is for relaxing – and today’s newspaper – Ballymoney Times.

To Derry