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Off the Beaten Path

by Kyle W. Clanney

Debbie, Charlie and I decided to get a rent-a-car and explore on our free day here.  Since none of us had a map or GPS to use, the trip got interesting right away because following the road signs as a guide in Ireland can be a little complicated at first.   

Mussenden Temple

Debbie thought she was going to get a picture with the sheep instead she ended up herding them towards the back of the property.  The walk around the mansion and to the end of the property was what I thought a stereotypical walk along the coast in Ireland would be, High winds and cold drizzly rain. Once making our way out drenched and cold we made our way up the road to Dunluce Castle (built in the early 1500’s)  for a tour. This castle exchanged hands between half dozen families over the next century and half before being falling into ruins.  

Downhill Demesne

Inner Ward of Dunluce Castle

The next stop on the tour was to see the Giant’s Causeway and we were in a hurry to get there before dark since the sunsets around 16:00. After,winding our way down to the ocean to see this beautiful natural phenomenon we decided to make our way out and find dinner before returning to the hotel.  Since Debbie did all of the driving up  I was open to driving back since it would give me a little practice driving on the opposite side of car and road. Little did I know that we would only get a few miles away from the Giants Causeway before hitting a curb and getting a flat would take the night into another direction. While waiting on AA to come and tow the car we were able to enjoy a nice meal at the Bushmills Inn, which I highly recommend, great service and the food is one of the two best meals I have had on this trip. Once we finished the meal we met up with AA service guy and basically gave us few options to get back with the rent-a-car and we decided on replacing the tire and drive back.  Once the wheel was fixed we made our way back and the day was more eventful than I could have imagined.

Giant’s Causeway

Pan fried mature (in Bushmills) peppered fillet steak (8oz) w/side of garlic potatoes

Things I learned on my day trip:

-You can do U-turns in roundabouts ( I do not advise this unless traffic is light)
-Don’t pay £8.50 for a ticket (parking spot) to see the Causeway since no one checks it when you leave
-Curbs will eat the walls of your tires (Stay away from them!)

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