Nov 5, 2011

Ireland/Scotland: 11.5.11: Northern Ireland, Giant's Causeway and Sheryl

Started the day out early, showered and woke Jen up who's first comment was "There's frost outside."  Hmm  someone call the Waaambulance.  I wanted to get going early, as after reading about Giant's Causeway I wanted to beat the tour buses and tourists.  My desire to see Giant's Causeway was the only reason we ended up in Belfast, which coincidentally is hosting the European MTV awards tonight.  Hmm, no wonder this place is a madhouse.   And, no wonder we got bumped from our fancy hotel...there's a line of lookyloos out front, waiting for a sighting of someone famous.  They probably wouldn't have recognized how important I am.

I was in such a hurry I didn't eat a wee out of Belfast we stopped at a grocery and bought chocolate croissants and ham and cheese ones for around 50 pence each.  And, I was finally able to get some milk and drank nearly half a gallon for the low price of 69 pence!  Holy crap.  Who knew I'd find heaven in a grocery?   I say if you are traveling you nix the hotel breakfasts and drive directly to the grocery.  I mean, these little gems were fresh and warm and delicious.
Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
So, Giant's Causeway is a walk from the parking lot.  You walk down a hill, walk around a corner, walk down another hill, then walk about half a mile to find so many tourists you can hardly take a photo of the stones.  Arg.  With high expectations come low rewards.  That's why next time I meet someone I'm going to just hope he has a job and some teeth.   Or, maybe just teeth.  Giant's Causeway is a must see, despite my opinion of tourists. I think you have to be there first thing, before the herds arrive.  And, go ahead and walk to the Causeway but for the love of all that is holy, go ahead and pay the 1 pound for the bus ride back up to the top!  It'll save time and get you moving to the next locale, which happens to be the Bushmills Distillery, right up the road.  But, to give Giant's Causeway it's well deserved due, the basalt columns are impressive, and the backdrop of the Irish coastline makes the sight picturesque, despite the tourists.

At Bushmills we did a short walk and then bought some Irish Whiskey.  I mean, wouldn't it have been a shame to pass it up???   Now when another curb jumps out at me (as happened this morning...those things are unpredictable and dangerous) Jen can just grab a bottle and chill the hell out.  Maybe I should spike her morning coffee.  

We drove up the coastline today and the views were spectacular.  It was difficult to get even a mile before we wanted to pull over again.  What a chore.  And what an amazing problem to have!  
Look!  I'm in the photo! Or my shadow photography skills rock!

About 11 miles from our hotel Sheryl (my GPS) stopped working.  Just went black and wouldn't come back on.  Ever been in a place where you don't know north from south from east from west and traffic is hauling arse past and swooping through roundabouts as night falls?  Yeah, that's when Sheryl chose to go dark.  I shook her, unplugged her, spoke nicely, pushed her buttons (hmmm this is awkward) and nothing.  Not even a spark.  (I know a few men who can relate.)   Anyhoo, finally Sheryl woke up and realized we needed her and then faithfully showed us the way home.  I think Sheryl can count herself lucky she hasn't been traded in for another model.  That wench had better shape up or I'm tossing her out the window next time.   (See how Sheryl likes getting kicked to the curb, I think she's not as used to that as the rest of us...not like that's ever happened to me.)

I suddenly just realized I'm delusional.  I can't think of a prettier place to realize that.  I mean, if I do want to toss myself off a cliff, this is the place!

Don't push me, Jen!

For heaven's sake, don't worry.  I have been delusional for years.  I've come to grips with it.  Now you must.  

Tomorrow we head across the Isle to Clifden on the west coast.  It's a five hour drive without stops, but we have plenty of scenery to grab our attention.  Ireland is impressive.  Ya'll should come on over.   

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