Northern Ireland: A Day with My Favorite Irishman in County Antrim

Castles and Cliffs and County Antrim: Oh, my!

The Elephant - Elephant Rock - Northern Ireland

After spending a wonderful evening with Irishman running around County Antrim, we decided to meet up early the next morning in the centre (see! I can spell British-English) of Bushmills to grab a coffee before I hopped a bus and train for Armagh.  As we sat down chatting inside an old bank vault, Irishman decided the idea of me trying to make bus and train connections during Easter Monday was ill-advised.  Instead, I got an even BETTER tour of Ireland!

So yes, I was a tourist.  I have zero shame in admitting this.  I’ll never understand bloggers or people who roll around foreign countries they’ve never been to and refuse to admit they were tourists.  The only thing that kept me from being one of the ones easily mocked by the locals is the fact that I absolutely refuse to wear a fanny pack.  Will not*.

In my stint as a tourist with a local guide in Irishman, I was swept from the hotel and we sped off to see the ruins of Dunluce Castle, made our way over to the eccentric Earl-Bishop’s joint (Downhills Demesne) and Mussenden Temple, up to Gortmore Viewing Point (also called Bishop’s Overlook), and 60-some miles on down to my hotel in Armagh.

That drive involved one of the most educational and insightful conversations I’d had in years.  Rare is the person that can have a discussion that in many circles would be deemed “touchy”, “lop-sided”, “political”.  I was free to ask about “The Troubles”, the viewpoints, the history, etc.  Everything was on the table.

As we drove through small towns you could easily see who the Unionists were and who the Republicans were.  We even drove through a town during a memorial ceremony marking the 1916 Easter Rising.  Eye opening. Do your research and draw your own conclusions.

With that final thought, the photos are below!

Dunluce Castle, Bushmills, Northern Ireland:

Dunluce Castle Manor House - Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle - Manor House Along the Cliff

Dunluce Castle - Ruins

Dunluce Castle - Ruined Chimneys

Dunluce Castle - Great Hall

Dunluce Castle Ruins

View through ruined windows at Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle - Room with a View

Dunluce Castle Ruins - Through Ruined Window

Dunluce Castle - View of the Elephant

The Elephant - Elephant Rock - Northern Ireland

Do you see the elephant?

View of the Antrim Coast from Dunluce Castle

View through a small window ruin - Dunluce Castle

Ocean view from Dunluce Castle - North Atlantic Ocean

Downhill Demesne, Castlerock, Northern Ireland

Mussenden Temple outside Downhill Demesne in Northern Ireland

Mussenden Temple

Downhill Demesne - Earl Bishops Place

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Downhill Demesne - Inside the House

Downhill Demesne - Burned Down

Downhill Demesne - Garden Path Bench

Headless George Statue at Downhill Demesne

This is George – the eccentric Earl-Bishop’s brother. Unfortunately, poor George lost his head in a storm and hasn’t been seen since.

Downhill Demesne - View of the coast and rail line

Gortmore Viewing Point/Bishop’s Overlook, Castlerock, Northern Ireland

Castlerock - Bishops View

Castlerock - Bishops View 3

Castlerock - Bishops View 2

Castlerock - Bishops View 4

Disclaimers:

*There is, of course, a price for everything.  If you offered me a disgusting amount of money to strap on a fanny pack and run around Disney Land screaming, “I’m an Oscar Meyer Weiner”**, I’ll do it.

**Anyone who’s watched Demolition Man will get that reference.

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