Thursday, April 13, 2006

Causeway Coast with Judy & William

We had a great day on Saturday with Judy and William exploring the coast road.

In the morning we were treated to two special events: first, their eldest son, Simon, was interviewed on the radio (yes, we hobknob with celebrities), and then we went to see Sarah's drama class presentation. Her teacher showed us what the kids had been working on during the previous term. Sarah is standing in the back row with the gray sweatshirt and pink boots. (Pay no attention to the wee girl on the right picking her nose.)

In this exercise, students were showing us how they e-nun-ci-ate their con-so-nants while speaking.

After dropping the kids off at a friend's house, the four of us started our day. We drove out along the coast road. First stop, Dunluce Castle, one of our favorite places to visit.

When you look at the castle and the rough seas it really is amazing that the whole cliff hasn't fallen into the sea.

This close-up view is stunning. (Eat your heart out, William!) It doesn't really show you how close to the cliff the castle actually is, though.

This is a part of the 'inside' of the castle.

The views from Dunluce Castle, like this one here, are just gorgeous. This is looking west from the castle.

Here's another view from the castle grounds, looking east.

One more view of the castle ruins.

There is a cave that runs underneath the castle. Here is the cave mouth. I believe you can actually see into the ocean from here.

This picture shows your view as you enter the gate to the castle grounds.

After leaving Dunluce Castle, we drove further east down the coast to Giant's Causeway, probably one of Northern Ireland's most famous sites. It is a geologic oddity, sporting some beautiful rock formations, making lovely geometric shapes (hexagons, pentagons, octagons, trapezoids, etc.). We mathematicians won't bore you with too many pictures of the different shapes we found. Just trust us, we found them.

Off in the distance in this picture, is a formation called the 'Chimney Tops.'

This formation is affectionately called 'The Organ' because of the pipe-looking structure.

This shows what the rock tiles of the causeway proper look like.

Can you see the waves crashing over the rocks? It made for wonderful views!

The four of us are sitting at 'The Wishing Chair' in this picture.

Here we are again. We're wishing we could stay in Ireland!

This is my submission for the next cover of National Geographic, looking up the hill away from the sea.

We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Causeway Hotel (including a Guinness and Bush chaser, mm-mm!) and headed further east by the coast road.

We went to the tiny village of Port Bradden at the bottom of the cliffside; it is home to the smallest church in Northern Ireland. Pictured here is the ENTIRE village.

This is the view from Port Bradden. You might be able to identify some dark spots in the water: it's people swimming in the surf here! I couldn't believe it. The water was freezing and terribly rough, too.

This is St. Gobban's Church, the smallest in Northern Ireland. William told us it has a single pew.

Even though the church was closed, Danny was able to get this picture of the inside from the one window by holding the camera up to the glass and clicking the shutter. You are looking at the altar.

As we continued down the coast, we couldn't help but take countless pictures of this spectacular coastline.

This tiny port, again at the bottom of a cliff, is called Ballintoy. It consists of rocks, a small restaurant, a 'beach' (yes, that's a beach), and a pier.

We were standing on the pier when this picture was taken. The waves were so high they actually rose over the rocks and crashed nearly at our feet. Deb absolutely LOVED it!

In this view you can actually see the crashing waves.

Here is the view to the east from Ballintoy.

This final photo of the rocks at Ballintoy was taken from the pier, at eye level with the waves.


At 12:55 PM, Blogger The Purvis Family Blog said...

Some stunning photos, including one very similar to one I took of Dunluce Castle, hmmm? Terrific blog as usual!!


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