Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life List: Giant's Causeway and Old Bushmills Distillery-Northern Ireland

I don't drink much(or particularly well)but my preference is Bushmills Irish Whisky. I got two bottles for my birthday.

I want to do a Northern Ireland Fly-Drive vacation and visit the distillery, which has been there since 1608.

The Giant's Causeway is just a couple of kilometers from Bushmills.

The Causeway appears on the cover of the Led Zeppelin album Houses of the Holy.

The Causeway proper is a mass of basalt columns packed tightly together. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Altogether there are 40,000 of these stone columns, mostly hexagonal but some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 90 feet thick in places.

Before the famous coast road was built in the 1830s visitors complained about the ruggedness of the trip. But there was one shining compensation on the journey: the town where tourists made their last stop before the final push to the Causeway was Bushmills. Ever since 1608 saddle-sore travellers had been revived with magnums of the King's whiskey at the world's oldest (legal) distillery, which is still in business.

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