Late last month, Claire and Andrew took a trip to Northern Ireland with their youth group. While there they walked the wonderful coastline of County Antrim and the Giant’s Causeway; visited sites of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland; met with groups focused on peace and reconciliation; and took lots and lots of photographs.
In looking at those photos, my mind went back a decade to my own trip to Northern Ireland for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Like the children’s trip, mine was an eye and mind-opening experience. I recently looked at my diary from that trip and enjoyed reliving my experiences.
So I’ll share Andrew’s (color) and Claire’s (black-and-white) photos from June/July 2009, and I’ll share a few diary entries from December 1998.
12/8/98 – I found Crom Castle most interesting. As we arrived, Irish deer – with huge racks – stared at us from the deer park…had my first Irish whiskey of the trip. Great for warming chilled bones!
12/8/98 – We have a late afternoon stop at Florence Court, where we barely get a hint of the rococo plasterwork. There is a fabulous view of an adjoining mountain from the garden from a bentwood shelter. Very atmospheric on a gray, foggy evening. Then back to Belle Isle for a hearty Irish dinner…the mincemeat pie is especially good.
Besides the Giant’s Causeway, the children and I also visited Dunluce Castle…just ten years apart. The third and fourth pictures are both of Dunluce, which I wrote about on…
12/10/98 – The entire coastal drive (of County Antrim) is magnificent, with a constantly changing landscape….We see the ruins of Dunluce Castle, perched on a cliff and making for a very dramatic view. We also visit the ruins of Earl Bishop’s Downhill Palace – very remote. It is too wet to get near the domed rotunda library recently saved by the National Trust from falling into the sea.
12/11/98 – Low tide forces us off the ferry and we drive around Strangford Lough to Castle Ward. They are not expecting us and it is pouring rain, but we still manage a quick tour. Bizarre house – one side is Palladian and the other is neo-Gothic. The husband and wife couldn’t agree – and the argument continued inside.
12/12/98 – A wonderful trip and a great introduction to Northern Ireland – the same week when the Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded for the Good Friday Peace Accords.
Historic travel should take place during historic weeks.
Enjoy the rest of the pictures.
More to come…