Everyone is always joking that if you go into the cinema to watch a film, you could missed the Irish summer by the time you come out. After a year in Ireland, this in no longer a laughing matter. As I quietly suffered from the lack of vitamin D, my prayers were answered with a forecast that was calling for one full day of weekend sun. So I did what anyone else in my position would do – found a way to be outside from sunrise to sunset. For me, this was easy as I had held off doing a particular tourist trip in hopes of good weather and luckily my time had come. After some rushed research, I booked a tour with Extreme Ireland/Day Tours at the last-minute to go check out The Giants Causeway. Yes, the bus was full and it was still a little nippy outside but there was going to be sun and that was enough to send me over the moon.
Carnlough Harbour – Stop #1
Like many of the day tours I’ve done, the bus was full of couples and friend duos visiting Ireland. They were very nice but let’s face it – nobody wants to spend the day third wheeling it with strangers. Just as I was getting ready to give up on finding someone to talk to, I was joined by a stray singleton trying to make the most of her time in Ireland as well. My single serving friend, whose name escapes me now, proved to be good fun and a welcome relief as we drive from location to location. We talked about how Ireland reminded me of parts of either New Zealand or Australia while she told me about where else in Ireland she had been. We laughed as we talked about the good and bad surprises we had encountered on our travels and our personal highlights of Ireland.
Turns out the bridge wasn’t what I thought!
Turns out that this trip was going to have a few surprised. The good was that we couldn’t have picked a better day as the driver let us know that only about 1 in 5 times he’s done the trip, have people ever been able to see Scotland. We were lucky as it was as clear as day. After this nugget of information, we made our first real stop where we were allowed to distance ourselves from the heard. We were at the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge and the grounds that surrounds this area was absolutely stunning and hands down my favourite part of the day. As for the wee bridge itself – well I was thinking it was going to be comparable to the Capilano Suspension Bridge but instead it was more like a baby version. Despite it’s size, it was still fun to cross the bridge and give it a slight rock as the family ahead of me posed for some rather awkward photos. Oh the things I do when photo bombing is taken out of the equation! Before long, our time was up and we were called back to the bus to make our way to the next stop – The Giants Causeway. I have always loved the pictures of the Causeway and was glad to finally be making the trek but hated the fact that there seemed to be just as many tourists as there were rocks. I really shouldn’t have been a surprise since they were coming by the busload and I had just arrived with another 35 other people but it still took me by surprise. Sadly, I knew that the time had come to put away my camera and just enjoy where I was.
The Giants Causeway – one of the few photos I like
The Giants Causeway – Honeycomb
Looking back on my photos today, it saddens me slightly that I didn’t get a snapshot of my favourite rock formation since it had humans climbing on it like they were monkeys but such is life. I just didn’t have the patience to wait them out for a decent photo so I booked it back to the restaurant to grab a little grub before the crowds made their way there. What I had traded for that photo was a decent spot on the patio where I could feel the sun warm up every inch of me as I ate my cafeteria style meal. One a sunny day, this spot was worth it’s weight in gold and worth giving up that photo opportunity. Soon after I finished my meal, we were all collected again in order to stick to the schedule. Despite my best efforts to convince the driver that an unscheduled stop at Bushmills was a matter of life and death, no changes were made to the itinerary posted online. It was one stop after another that I wasn’t overly fussed about as I’d already been. Before I knew it, the sun was hanging low in the sky and we were making our way back to Dublin once again. All in all, this was a good day out and I couldn’t have imagined a better weather to do it in.