Our next stop was the seaside resort of Portrush in Northern Ireland. As we crossed the border from Ireland into Northern Ireland (UK), the speed limit signs changed from kilometers per hour to miles per hour. I must have missed that in the guide books :o! So, I was frantically googling to confirm my guess as my husband drove. To make things more fun, our rental car only displayed kph, but fortunately our Garmin displayed speed limits in kph.
We stayed at the Adelphi Portrush . The Adelphi does not have a car park and guests are left to their own devices to find a spot somewhere in town — no small feat on a sunny weekend in August! My husband dropped me at the curb and I ran in to enquire at the front desk. It was suggested that we try an area a couple of blocks away. After two circles of the block, we were successful in finding a parking spot, and then had to haul our luggage a couple of blocks through crowded sidewalks to the hotel. In retrospect, we should have dropped off our luggage before looking for parking.
After settling in to the hotel, we drove to the nearby Bushmills Distillery and took the informative tour of the facility. It was interesting to learn how Irish whiskey is made. The tour ended with a tasting, but we passed on the drinks since we were driving. We headed back to the hotel for dinner. My husband enjoyed the fish and chips, which were nice and crispy and a generous portion. I loved the salmon (are you sensing a theme here?) — perfectly cooked and served with a mustard glaze, haricots verts and new potatoes. Delicious!
The hotel was on the “basic” side, but clean and our room was huge! It consisted of a living area with a love seat, small table and chairs and a desk. The king sized bed, armoire and dresser were in a separate room connected by an open archway. The decor was dated and there was a large stain on the carpet in the living area as though a previous guest had spilled his coffee. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows were thin, solid foam and not very comfortable. We also had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Breakfast the next morning was included. My husband had the full Irish. The eggs were perfectly cooked, but the sausage was fatty. The toasted soda bread was delicious!! I enjoyed the scrambled eggs, which were perfectly cooked — light and fluffy.
After breakfast, we visited the Giant’s Causeway. The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, formed around 50 million years area as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. There are trails, but most tourists go off trails walking across the columns. This does make it difficult at times to enjoy the views and to take photographs. Do allow plenty of time to enjoy the trails and see the many, varied formations. We walked out to the Organ and then climbed The Shepherd’s Stairs. We had great weather for most of the day, with cold rain showers coming at the worst possible time — as we were climbing the stairs! We browsed for souvenirs at the Visitor Centre and purchased an adorable clay sheep.
In the afternoon, we visited the ruins of Dunluce Castle perched on the edge of a cliff on the Antrim coast. The first castle on this site was built in the 13th century. The Clan McDonnell won the castle in the mid-16th century and made it their home for 150 years. It’s amazing to consider in this age of disposable everything, that these walls have stood the test of centuries of wind and water.
Next, we’re off to Dublin …