Northern Ireland (Part 1)

Ballintoy Harbour

Wow! What a trip!! Who knew you could spend so many hours in the car seeing such a small country! Totally worth it though… We started off with a 2 hour 45 min drive to the southwestern coast of Scotland to catch a 2+ hour ferry to the city of Belfast. After a quick tour of a special part of the city called, “Shankill Rd. (if you have never read about “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, I highly recommend finding some reading material. Hard to believe that it occurred and that there’s still leftover sentiments from that time),” we left for the beautiful small harbor town of “Portrush.”

Portrush and the areas around it are absolutely breath-taking. We were super blessed to be able to stay at our friend’s aunt’s holiday home for free while we were in the country. What a special gift to us as it was a 3 year old new home. After crazy days of sightseeing it was a dream to be able to watch TV every night to wind down the day! It’s the little things in life, right?! Ha!!

Portrush is not far from several locations that are filmed in the TV series, “Game of Thrones.” I know very little of the series and have never watched an episode but I understand why these locations are used. “The Dark Hedges” are beautiful but one of my favorite places during the trip was “Ballintoy Harbour.” The harbor is hard to put into words – it feels like you step back into time and the views from the waves crashing to the cliffs nearby, you just want to stay there for hours. Definitely a highlight of the trip for me. If you’re planning a trip to N.I., definitely see it.

From Ballintoy Harbour, we made our way to the “Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.” We didn’t pay to cross it but the views were again lovely and it was worth walking up to it. Sounds like they’ve updated the bridge so it isn’t quite as scary as the rope bridge from years past. People seemed to make their way across pretty easily. :)

Our last stop of the day was “Giant’s Causeway.” To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure that I would like this place from the photos and such I’d seen before the trip. I should have known that being there in person always seems to be way better than just seeing a photo. This place was unique, surprising, gorgeous, and the list goes on. I now understand why so many visit it. It’s wild to think that it’s not man made – the stones are so beautifully long, round, smooth, and just incredible. It’s a must see location.

So day one was one of my favorite days of the trip. To think that we didn’t pay one penny to enter any of these locations was the cherry on top (the only site we had to pay to see during the entire trip was the “Titanic Museum”). A beautiful day with beautiful friends.

On two different nights during the trip we set up the camera for some clear or fairly clear skies. Really nice to finally get a night sky to shoot. We were blessed with only one full day of rain the entire time we were there. Thanking the Lord for that!

I’m half way through editing the photos from the trip so there will be a “Part 2” when I can get to it.

A very Merry Christmas to everyone back home and to you the reader of this little blog… Wishing you a wonderful new year and joy and victory in 2017.

-Haven x