DAY 7 ULTIMATE VACATIONS IN IRELAND

Dunluce Castle / Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland / Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge / Hilton Belfast Resort

After another great night of sleep we are not disappointed by our B&B breakfast. Thanks to our hosts advice we take another ferry to save time getting across the water. And today we are off to see another castle and a pair of novel scenic attractions. We are stoked.

First stop - Dunluce Castle sitting on the confluence of Lough Foyle and the North Channel. As we have witnessed with previous castles this one as well is undergoing structural restoration. It is good to know that future generations will be able to look even deeper in time and enjoy this historic interesting mansion.

Our next attraction is but a short drive away. The weather is gloomy but our spirits and anticipation are not dampened. We are about to walk on the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, overlooking the North Channel. If you are not familiar with Giant's Causeway we urge you to look at our photos  and investigate it further. This is a spectacular place to witness. So much so that not only do our words inadequately describe it, but regrettably our photos even fail to capture its entire panoramic majesty.

Justin and Jay opt to follow the 25-minute trail from the Visitor Centre to the actual Causeway while the ladies and 2-year old take the convenient shuttle. We capture some intriguing photos en route.

So what exactly is Giant's Causeway? Of course the Irish have their myths. But the scientific basis is - this is a UNESCO World heritage Site - a geological wonder with over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of intense volcanic and geological activity. The Causeway provides a glimpse into the Earth's ancient past - an epic 60-million year-old legacy to the cooling and shrinking of successive lava flows.

But enough science. The column-like rock formations are like nothing else - anywhere. So cool to see and be able to stand on them in person after marveling over this place in travel brochures for decades. What a great experience. More generational family memories thanks to the world of travel.

But the scenic revelations are not over yet. Next stop: Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Strange as it may sound this is a rope bridge that connects a mountainous mainland cliff and a mountainous island with a nearly 400-year old salmon fishery. Only the rope bridge connects the two.

After a hearty walk to the actual bridge, we decided not to actually walk the bridge. There is a toll or separate admission fee to do so, and the line was backed up quite a ways as only a few people can traverse the bridge at the same time, obviously. So we ventured to higher ground and took some excellent photos of people walking the bridge. We need to keep moving to see all that we had designs on. So, we came, we saw, we photographed - and we move on.

While there is a rich history for the island and the fishing industry, today it serves as a recognized tourist attraction and one more way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the rugged Northern Ireland coast. The cliffs of the Carrick-a-Rede area are reminiscent of Slieve league, spectacular.

For the evening we retired to Hilton Templepatrick in Belfast. Our rooms had French balconies overlooking the golf course. Very nice resort like hotel.

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