It is not the literal past, the “facts” of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language.
The Antrim Coast is stunning, whilst the Giant’s Causeway is the main attraction the coastline is littered with soaring cliffs, abandoned castles, beaches and the Bushmills Distillery.
We enjoyed a pleasant day driving along the coast, gazing out across the Irish Sea to Scotland laying on the horizon so close it appears as if an extra low tide may allow you to walk there.
After a short hike, we reached the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and made the short crossing to a small island that houses a small fishing outpost. Who would keep the fishing boat on this small island instead of the nearby mainland? A question I asked a colleague who immigrated from Northern Ireland and he replied, ‘My Grandfather.’
Fans of Game of Thrones can check out a film location down to the left of the main car park.
Dunluce Castle is one of the finest castles in Northern Ireland but not nearly good enough for the Countess of Antrim who begged her husband for a new home away from the coast and finally left without him when the kitchen disappeared into the sea during a dinner party. According to legend, taking the heavy dessert and most of the staff with it.
Old Bushmills Distillery has produced fine Irish Whiskey since the 17th Century, and every year hosts 120000 visitors on an intoxicating tour of their facility. The air is literally steeped in whiskey, and the distillers only spend two hours tending to the distilling process at a time to ward off the effects. It’s a fun tour, a chance to indulge in some history and distilling folklore before exiting into the cafe where you can sip a free sample over lunch. You can buy a 12 year old bottle of Bushmills at the distillery (not available elsewhere) but buyers of the widely distributed 10, 16 and 20 year old Bushmills may well find a better price at Duty Free than the distillery.