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Giant’s Ring, Northern Ireland

August 13th, 2007 No comments

Giant’s Ring, Northern Ireland

Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

August 12th, 2007 No comments

Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Monea Castle, Northern Ireland

August 12th, 2007 No comments

Monea Castle, Northern Ireland


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Monea Church

Portora Castle, Northern Ireland

August 12th, 2007 No comments

Portora Castle, Northern Ireland


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Northern Ireland, Marble Arch Caves

August 12th, 2007 No comments

Marble Arch Caves

Northern Ireland, Marble Arch Caves

Located near Enniskillen in NI, the Marble Arch Caves have been selected as a European Geopark site.

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Tully Castle, Northern Ireland

August 11th, 2007 No comments

Tully Castle, Northern Ireland

From Wiki: (Irish: Caisleán an Tullach meaning “castle on the hill”) is a castle situated in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, near the village of Blaney, on Blaney Bay on the southern shore of Lower Lough Erne. The Blaney area takes its name from Sir Edward Blaney, who was among the English advance party sent to Fermanagh to organise the Plantation. Tully Castle is a fortified house with a rectangular bawn and was built for Sir John Hume, a Scottish planter, in 1619. The bawn had four rectangular corner towers. The castle was captured by Rory Maguire in the Irish Rebellion of 1641, burned and abandoned. Thereafter, the Hume family seat was replaced nearby with Castle Hume Hall designed by Richard Cassels.Tully Castle and village site are State Care Historic Monuments sited in the townland of Tully, in Fermanagh District Council area, at grid ref: H1267 5664.

 

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Belleek Pottery, Co.Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

August 11th, 2007 No comments

Belleek Pottery, Co.Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

What’s a fellow with a camera supposed to do when other family members want to visit a pottery factory? Oh well, I went on the tour, found it interesting and they did allow me to take photographs in a few very limited areas of the plant. :-).

From Wiki: Belleek Pottery Ltd is a porcelain company that began trading in 1887 as the Belleek Pottery Works Company Ltd in Belleek, County Fermanagh, in what was to become Northern Ireland. The factory produces porcelain that is characterised by its thinness, slightly iridescent surface and that the body is formulated with a significant proportion of frit.
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Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

August 10th, 2007 No comments

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

You take the high road and I’ll take the low road. – When you leave the parking lot at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, you can either take the high path along the top of the cliff or, you can take the roadway that follows along the seashore. The roadway along the seashore is a paved road allowing shuttle bus access to this very popular tourist attraction. Walking alongside the roadway is permitted for those who prefer to walk rather than ride.

In our case, we decided to take the high path along the top of the cliff. The path provides numerous excellent views of the Irish coastline on one side and expansive views of inland Irish farmlands on the other side.

The pathway takes the walker through heath that is a mix of heathers and gorse more typical of southern England. This was my first up close and personal encounter with gorse and it deserves any nasty reputation that it might have. At some points it definitely provided an impenetrable barrier to anyone wanting to stray off of the beaten path. Those who follow my travels know how much I like to travel off of the beaten path :-).  Add in a bit of giant hogweed and you have a really nice mixture of nastiness.  Enough to even keep me  on the straight and narrow!

The path itself is well traveled and easy to follow.

On the land side, the surroundings are quite pastoral, but for those daring enough to venture closer to the cliff edge, the views of the cliffs and seashore salt marshes is quite spectacular.

A walk along the upper path provides the walker with an opportunity to view first-hand a variety of very different habitats. Along the seashore itself, there are some small areas of saltmarsh, while the cliffs provide a maritime cliff habitat with grasses and heathers clinging to the sidewalls of the cliffs and up on top there is a unique blend of heathers and gorse not normally found in Northern Ireland.

At a certain point along the upper pathway, every walker will be faced with decision time. You can continue the upper path along to Dunseverick Castle or you can take the stairs down to lower levels. We didn’t have the time to walk the significantly further distance to the castle so, with the outline of the Giant’s Causeway and its interesting geological structure beckoning, we headed downward.

The staircase itself is solid but quite steep. With no hurry to get anywhere, I could afford the luxury of taking shots of a flower or two along the way.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Should we continue down to the Giant’s Causeway or follow the cliff-side trail that continues out of sight around the edge of the cliff? Of course, no real decision to be made. Any path that goes to some out-of-sight destination attracts me like a nocturnal moth to a lamp, so off along the trail we traveled past the Giant’s pipe organ and his heart.

Then our progress along the coastline came to a grinding halt!

Well it was interesting while it lasted but we still had the actual Giant’s Causeway formation to visit and a few other stops to make so we turned around and headed back along the coastline.

Having read the warnings and information about the dangers, I joined the hundred of other tourists walking (not climbing! 🙂 ) over the Giant’s Causeway formations.

Unlike the creature in the small pools waiting for the next tide to come in, we had to move along and reluctantly leave the Giant’s Causeway. The area certainly offers many unique geological formations to ponder about.

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Northern Ireland, Antrim Hills

August 9th, 2007 No comments

Stone Building

Northern Ireland, Antrim Hills

The Antrim Hills are located on the east coast of Northern Ireland and, sometimes referred to as the Antrim Plateau, the hills were formed from volcanic action. In the case of the Antrim Hills, the lava/magma flowed to the surface and, as it cooled, it formed small crystalline rock known as basalt. Any soil that exists higher in the hills tends to be of poor nutrient value. Peat moss is harvested as peat logs in some areas of the Antrim Hills. Erosion action has formed the nine glens of Antrim. Peak elevation is approximately 360m.

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Torr Head, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

August 9th, 2007 No comments


CLICK ON TORR HEAD INFORMATION PLACARD TO VIEW LARGE

Torr Head, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Torr Head is a lone outcrop of fused limestone jutting out into the sea and marks the closest point between Ireland and Scotland. As can be seen from the photos, heather was in bloom and a tough breeze was blowing. Nice to just sit on the bare rock, enjoy the view and let the freshening breeze blow away the world’s problems for a bit.

Jutting out from the mainland as it does, Torr Head provides a wonderful vantage point to observe the County Antrim shoreline

Looking back from the sea, the seemingly never-ending green of Irish fields and meadowlands spread out in all directions.

The coastguard station and housing facilities at Torr Head were abandoned int he 1920’s.

This is one part of the world where I never expected to see fuschia hedges so I was quite surprised to see the hedges beside the road to Torr Head bursting forth with red fushia blooms.

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