Day 19 Derry, IrelandAugust 20, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
We arrived in Northern Ireland today. Well sort of, the port we used for Derry (Londonderry to some - depends on which side of the religious divide you sit) is actually in Greensgate which is across the inlet in Donegal, Republic of Ireland, about a 40 minute drive from Derry itself.
We had decided to take one of the ship’s tours today to Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway which is a UNESCO world heritage site of uniquely shaped hexagonal rocks. On the way to the causeway you pass through both the seaside towns of Portrush, site of the recent British Open Golf tournament and Bushmills, home of Ireland’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. It is a fascinating part of Ireland and also in the area is a famous rope bridge and the dark hedges, although due to time constraints we didn’t get to see those....
As we didn’t arrive in Greensgate until midday (its a long way there from Iceland) this was an afternoon/evening tour and we got to the causeway about 4 pm after a two hour drive and had a couple of hours to look around. That was after a stop at Dunluce which is a castle ruin on the cliffs overlooking Portrush Bay (see photos).
You could take the bus down to the causeway but we chose to walk (down at least) to the rocks. It is one of the most popular spots in Northern Ireland and there were hundreds of other visitors on the day we were there. You can clamber all over the rocks and there are unsurprisingly a lot of accidents as people slip or fall on the uneven terrain. During the time we were there and although we didn’t see it, a lady (who was not part of our group) fell from her wheelchair badly injuring herself.
We had two hours there which was enough time for us to see and walk around the causeway and have enough time left over for a drink at the local pub.
After the trip back to Greensgate we decided to visit another local hostelry for a drink before returning to the ship about 8.45pm before an 11 pm departure.
Photos attached show... light and dark hexagonal rocks; Dunluce Castle ruins; causeway rocks; the organ pipes (cliffside rock formation); me in front of rock face; the Nook, a local pub we visited; another bar in Greensgate we went to; Portrush Police station and it’s surrounding perimeter fence, a reminder of the sometimes troubled circumstances prevalent in this part of the world.Read more