Once we left Giant’s Causeway, it was only a short ride to a teeny town called Ballintoy where we would be staying the night. But on the way we had to make a stop at the infamous Iron Islands.
Dunluce Castle aka House of Greyjoy on Game of Thrones
Walking through a field past the “Wee Cottage”, we gingerly stepped over cow paddies to stand at a fence overlooking Dunluce Castle. The dilapidated castle stood high up on a lonely rock, surrounded by steep drops on all sides. The weather was very misty and cold, adding to the mystical atmosphere. Thankfully Theon Greyjoy was not there, or else I would have had to cross the narrow bridge to fight him. Nobody likes Theon.
Village of Ballintoy
We then pulled up to the small village of Ballintoy which has only one restaurant, one bar and one hostel on a singular street. After dropping our things off at the hostel known as “Sheep Island View” for, you guessed it, it’s stunning view of sheep, our group set off on a walk towards the water. We followed Rachel down a winding and steep street down Knocksaughey hill to Ballintoy Harbour, also known as the town of Lordsport in the isle of Pyke in Game of Thrones! So much Games of Thrones, so little time.
Although we fell behind the group taking selfies (whoops), we caught up on the path along the coast through fields of soft green grass. We trudged along for more than half and hour, dragging our exhausted bodies through the fields and sweating our faces off. It was quite the hike.
The endless trek was worth it once we reached the island of Carrick-a-Rede and the terrifying rope bridge connecting it to the mainland. Carina stayed behind while I made my way across the treacherous wooden planks, probably not a good activity for somebody afraid of heights. But I did it!! My heart was beating out of my chest but I did it!!
Having a heart attack.
The view from the island was stunning and we had fun running around the dirt paths crisscrossing the small island. A few times I thought we were going to take a tumble off the edge but we kept it together.
BOOM. Finally not sleepy! What a day!
You can see Carina in the photo below. She is the tiny speck on the fence. Hello Carina and Rachel!! Watch me cross the bridge of doom and almost lose my mind one more time!
We walked back to the hostel then headed back to town with the Australians for some dinner at the only pub in the village. Carina ordered a salad with the hope to consume some vegetables and was served a “salad” consisting of meat, cheese, and a single piece of lettuce. Hahaha. The Guiness pie was delicious thouugh.
The rest of the night was spent drinking beers and playing games with our entire tour group in the hostel common room. It was an epic and hilarious night which involved sharing embarrassing stories and corrupting poor little high school Irish kids. There was also cake. It was great.
Wow I can feel these recaps getting sillier and sillier. Probably because this trip was SILLY and AWESOME and FUN and my brain is not allowing my fingers to type with any eloquence. Don’t mind the commentary. Just look at the pretty pictures ;-).
Only one more Ireland post to go! And there is still London and France and New Zealand… and omg SO MANY PHOTOS. I LOVE IT.