Today we went up to Northern Ireland.
We visited The Dark Hedges, famously used in filming Game of Thrones, The Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, and The Giants Causeway.
Let's start with the Dark Hedges- basically it's just a road with trees lining both sides. They've grown in a kind of arch and have a very scary vibe going on. What I thought was interesting is this is actually private property. There's a house at the end of the drive and a long time ago the man of the house planted these trees along the drive to make it look more appealing- fast forward years later and famous people are hanging out filming one of the most popular TV shows.
Next to Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. I know the fun is the bridge itself but this coastline was absolutely breathtaking. Beautiful dark blue water that turned almost teal along the shore, seagulls flying, and a sunny day (how surprising)! So the bridge has been a tourist attraction for years. It leads out to a small island off the coast and is roughly 100 meters above the ground/sea. The bridge was built when local fishermen had been trying to reach a salmon spawning ground on the other side of the small island and kept crashing their boats on the rocks. They built the bridge so they could get to the other side of the island and drop their nets from above. The bridge was cool, although a bit shorter than I imagined. The island was amazing though and we got to explore for a bit. We took some pictures and kept saying it looked like we had filtered the photos already because the colors were so vivid.
And finally- Giants Causeway. This place is so impressive. I get that volcanoes erupt and create weird rocks and land and generally do interesting things BUT no matter how many times someone tells me the science behind these stair like rocks, I'm blown away. Seeing them in person and climbing around on them made it even more real for me.
Next to the actual Causeway area is a part of land that juts out into the ocean. It has two large hills on it, the hill farther out is taller and is a steep grade on each side. In our audio guide, it specifically pointed out that one shouldn't climb these hills- SO.... we climbed the higher one! And I have to say, it was the best part of the entire day. Maybe of our entire trip in Ireland. We were by ourselves for a bit on the tallest and furthest point on the coastline, looking at miles of Ireland in front of us and behind us Scotland on the horizon. Despite the cheesiness, it was a moment of that blood-pumping, soul-making stuff that everyone talks about. Never have I been more happy or felt more blessed to be a part of this world- a tiny, minuscule part, but a part nonetheless.
^ check out the tiny people behind me
Getting down was scarier, but happy to note there were no injuries (to our bodies or my camera). Slainte! On to Scotland..