Monday, June 2, 2008

North Antrim Coastline and Old Bushmills Distillery

The tour bus continued it's drive along the Antrim coastline passing a beautiful scenery -- gorgeous shores and lush green hills and pastureland.





I was surprised to see some horses lying down in the sun!


We passed many fields filled with the ubiquitous cows and sheep of the land.

It was both serene and thrilling for this city girl to see so many beautiful wide open green and blue spaces! There was lots of splashes of yellow, too, as a thorny shrub called Gorse was in bloom everywhere during the time we were in Ireland.

We reached the next stop on the tour, which was the small town of Bushmills, and the Old Bushmills Distillery.





Here we took a short tour and sampled some of the very smooth Irish whiskey. The word "whiskey" comes from the Gaelic language words "uisce beatha," which means "water of life." The Old Bushmills plant is the oldest distillery in the world! It's "Grant to Distill"was officially given in 1608, but it is suspected that whiskey was made here for at least 200 years before that. The Old Bushmills brand is a blend from a single malt and a single grain.



I just wish the American dollar was stronger so I could have afforded to buy this bottle and bring it back as a souvenir!


Back on the bus and we travel a bit further, past more luminous sky and fertile pastureland.


There -- in the distance -- what is that unusual apparition that we see on the end of a cliff?

We get closer and it comes into focus. We are told it is Dunluce Castle perched vulnerably on a steep crag. It dates back to the thirteenth century and was the main fortress of the MacDonnells, chiefs of Antrim.

Dunlace Castle was fought over many times in it's past and is wrapped in myths and legends, one of which is that mermaids lived in caves at its base. On a clear day you can look over the expanse of ocean and see County Donegal.

Next blog I will take you to our next stop, one of the most unusual places on earth, The Giant's Causeway.

Note: Judy, in beautiful British Columbia, at her My Front Porch blog, is collecting travel post links this week and has accepted my Ireland posts to be part of them! Please go visit her blog and join in with a post about a vacation spot you've visited past, or present. Great armchair travel!

20 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That castle really blends in with its environment, doesn't it? Love the shades of blue in your photos. I'm grinning at your wanting the water of life bottle. LOL!

Judy said...

Cows, coastlines, colts, castles,and countrysides of green...how lovely!

Marg said...

You must of loved your travels as I did in Europe. So many thing, so many pictures and so many memories.
A beautiful post.

Susie Q said...

I have just spent an hour looking through your photos!! I thought I would check and see if you were back and found I had missed your return!
Oh how gorgeous it all is...from the cows to the doors to the beer to the food!
Such amazingly wonderful posts! I loved every one of them...

Hugs,
Sue

Dee Dee said...

Oh Pat...what a fantastic time you must have had...the scenery is just beautiful...I especially like the old castle....I feel the same way when we are traveling about seeing the countryside...I love it!

Lisa said...

Gorgeous!! Part of my family is Irish, so it would be so interesting to go there. Thanks for a great tour!

Beverly said...

Pat, thanks for another lovely tour today.

That castles is just unbelievable. It is like the ones we imagined in fairy tales.

Jeanne said...

Pat, another beautiful post on Ireland. I love the pastoral scenes and the castle. Thank you for bringing Ireland to blog world.

I'm glad you liked my poodle post. Thanks for looking in.

Take Care, Jeanne

Tara said...

Pat

How nice for you that you had such a great time! Love all the views!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh Pat, those views are to die for! The castle is breathtaking!!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

What an amazing trip you had! The castle is a marvel. Can you even imagine building something like that on the edge?

Love it! :-) Rosie

Lisa B. said...

Water of life...that's a hoot. I know too many for whom it's the water of death! Pat you look way too young to have a child as old as you do! Another beautiful post!!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Pat, these images too are all picture postcards....I love the fluffy sheep....how serene and green is the countryside of Ireland...I wouldn't want to leave if I visited...

That castle on the cliff, with the legend of the mermaids at the caves at its base....has got my imagination going...... What a wonderful legend and I would like to know more about it, and the castle. I am going to google this...

Linda's Blue Gate said...

oh my heavens.... can there really be such a beautiful place? It just doesn't look real.... it is glorious
HUgs
Linda

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Oh My! This is all so beautiful! But please tell me that you saw at least one leprechan.....:-)
Hugs,
Penny

daisy cottage said...

BEAUTIFUL!


xo,
Kim
www.deardaisycottage.typepad.com

Gina said...

Stunning scenery Pat! Incredible depth of blues and greens.. must have been amazing to see so much of it.. I would have been very tempted to bring that bottle back!! Gx

Terri said...

How absolutely stunning!
Did you find yourself talking with a brogue? LOL I think I would!

Someday I will get over there too! Lucky you!

steviewren said...

Pat you had such a beautiful Irish day for this leg of your journey!

Rue said...

The sheep and cows are even cuter there ;)

That distillery is amazing! Did you get to go into the castle? It's so Beautiful!!

still reading....
rue