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05 October 2011

Ireland - Day 5

A day in Northern Ireland means rain. And LOTS of it. But I had whiskey and Guinness to keep me warm, so it wasn't so bad. The drive from Dublin to Bushmills took about four hours after a few wrong turns. But I DROVE us the whole way and never crashed the car once! All this driving on the wrong side of the road business ... piece of cake! It was pretty counterintuitive at first, but I quickly got the hang of it. Getting out of Dublin was the most challenging part. It's clearly a city designed for people who know where they are and where they are going. Streets are not clearly marked, so it is nearly impossible to find your way without a GPS ... which I didn't have because Verizon sucks (but that is a whole 'nother story which will ultimately involve a very angry phone call to the company). 

We didn't get to the north in time to see anything other than the inside of a restaurant. We met a cool young American there (named Mark) from Oregon, and we ended up chatting with him for quite some time. Three whiskeys, three Guinness, and a great dinner later, Mom and I headed back to our B+B for bed. The best part about the evening? They only charged me for TWO Bushmills! Score!

This one's for you, Murph.
Look! Quinn has a bar!! 

An old mill in Bushmills, UK.

This one made me think of my long-lost LL.

Guinness and some 16-year Bushmills ... yum. 
Despite the miserable weather the next morning, we were determined to find the Dark Hedges. And we did! Even the rain didn't ruin the pictures.

The Dark Hedges. Despite the massive amounts of rain, very cool.
After The Dark Hedges, we toured the Bushmills Distillery where I took home 5 (count 'em ... FIVE!) bottles of the factory reserve. (I hope they make it home okay inside my luggage!). I have no pictures because the distillery is on lock-down when it comes to photography. 400 years of secrets are there, and they don't want them to get out!

After the distillery, we braved the rain -- once again -- to visit the Giants' Causeway. I've wanted to see this my entire life, and I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that the weather ruined it. The wind and rain was so fierce you couldn't walk with your head up. My jeans were soaked through after the two-mile walk. But I did manage to get a few good pictures.
The Giant's Causeway. Would have been MUCH cooler if it wasn't so ... cold.  And wet. 

Loads and loads of hexagonal columns of rock. Wicked cool.

The ocean was angrier than I have ever seen in my life. 

Coins wedged in between the stones. For good luck? 

Didn't venture along this path because the wind would most certainly would have blown me away!

Hysterical!!! Signs like this were all over the place. 
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