Had a really good week in (Northern) Ireland (we crossed the border a couple of times) last week - the weather was mostly lovely and the countryside is beautiful.
We arrived on Saturday evening having ended up getting the train down to Edinburgh and then the shuttle bus to the airport because the car is having a fit again. Our flight was delayed by an hour but The Boy's folks were there to pick us up from Belfast so we didn't do too badly. On Sunday we pottered around Rostrevor and went for a walk along the Fairy Glen, and then after lunch we headed across the border to Carlingford on the other side of the Loch, which has some lovely Norman architecture and a castle built by King John in the 13th Century. On Monday, we wondered around a lovely local graveyard and then went up to Belfast, visited the cathedral which has some really beautiful mosaic art work in it, and met up with a couple of the Boy's old school friends. Tuesday was hiking day - we walked up through the forest park to the Cloughmore Stone and then up and across the ridge line to Slieve Martin, which is almost
Wednesday, the Boy drove us down to Newgrange and we visted two neolithic burial mounds. Knowth is newly opened to the public and you can't go right into the burial chamber but the stone carvings were fantastic and it feels a bit more authenic than Newgrange, which has been 'recreated' in a way. Still, both sites were really interesting and it was great to be able to go into the chamber at Newgrange and see a demonstration of how the sun enters at sunrise on the winter solstice, even if it is full of Victorian graphiti! We entered the lottery to get to be there over the Solstice but I don't expect we'll get picked. The Boy got selected a few years ago but his work wouldn't let him have the time off :(
Thursday, we went to Carrickfergus castle, which is really good except that they have ruined the inside of the Keep, which is now Disney Medieval style. Then we headed up the very scenic coast road to the Giants Causeway, which is really fantastic:
I won't be forgetting it in a hurry because I got absolutely drenched by a rogue wave while posing for a photo - unfortunately, the Boy has too busy trying to keep the camera dry to capture it.
After that excitment we just pottered around the local area on Friday and walked into Warren Point and back, via the monument to General Ross, who is supposed to have burnt the White House. And Saturday, we headed home to a very clingy Gizmo and something dodgy going on with the wiring of the oven switch, oh the joys of home ownership...
(more photos on Facebook BTW)