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Day 1 Getting There | Day 2 Northern Island | Day 3 Londonderry to Galway | Day 4 Dingle | Day 5 Tralee to Tramore | Tramore to Dublin

Click photos for a larger image...

After a restless night's sleep due to jet lag and the fact that the hotel provides a big thick duvet only; coupled with the room is heated so you either sleep under the duvet and cook your ass off or without the duvet and freeze your butt off!

We hit the road at about 9.30am and promptly got lost as our 2 GPS machines did not agree (Garmin vs. Microsoft, gotta love it!). We finally got consensus and moved in the right direction! We always like to take back roads as there is little to see when driving on highways.

Lots of rolling countryside with cows, sheep and surprisingly enough huge windmills to generate a small country (oh wait...this is a small country!!). Then you run into a small quaint village and back to rolling hills again.

It's really difficult stopping to take pictures as the roads are so narrow 2 cars can barely pass each other and there is no verge to pull over.  Once you get to the village the roads are once again narrow and every bit of parking is taken up by cars parked half on the sidewalk and half in the road coz that's all the parking there is!

There were no cars when these villages were built so the builders thoughtlessly made no room for parked vehicles!  The nerve not to have foresight!!

We then crossed the border into Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. Being UK of course the currency changed and we had to go get UK pounds as well as Euros. And THAT was a challenge.

We were told post office was the best bet, we tried two and no luck. Finally right at the border we found a bureau de change - two of them.

Not that you would know you were at the border of a different country, there are no border controls, there aren't even signs. Only way we knew was because our GPS told us and prices on signs at the gas stations changed to British Sterling.

We started running out of time so had no choice but to jump on a motorway for the rest of the ride to our first stop. Giant's Causeway.

The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are 40 ft high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 100 ft thick in places.

According to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant as a bridge between Northern Island and Scotland.  Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal's Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this fact.

Next it was time to see a castle! Dunluce Castle was originally built in 1500 by the McQuillans, who came from Scotland in the 1200s as hired mercenaries, and built the castle around 200 years later.

Over a 100-year period, the castle was besieged on numerous occasions by the English.

Finally, the previous owners scaled the cliff, climbed into the corner towers and hanged the English captain. His ghost is said to haunt a tower.  This castle is said to have given the inspiration to C.S. Lewis for The Chronicals of Narnia

We even got to see a rainbow!


Finally we drove to our home for the night, the Phoenix Bed and Breakfast in Londonderry - the blue building on the left.

It's an interesting town. Many of the street signs have had the "London" part of Londonderry crossed out or painted over. This is because some of the residents want Northern Island to become part of Ireland and not the UK. Others want to remain part of the UK.

It is also the only city n the British Ilse that still has a complete walled city.

We took a walk along the city wall and through downtown.


And finally...

Eating take out on our bedroom floor - no other place, it's kinda small.

And we have the absolute largest TV I have ever seen in a hotel. It's actually a little bigger than the remote control!