And then, there were the rabbits. We were on our bus, going into town for dinner, and people in the front of the bus were getting excited about something they saw in a field that we were approaching. "What are they?" they were exclaiming. Rabbits! Hundreds of rabbits in a field. Big rabbits. We were informed they were hares. But, there, in this enormous field of
many acres, were the largest group of rabbits, er, hares any of us had ever seen. There must have been a hare for every three or four square yards, as far as the eye could see, and most of them, near the road, were sitting up, watching our bus go by.
We watched a film at the Pottery Musieum in Belleek, on how they make the world famous and award winning pots, where prices range up to $2,000.00. I'll take two.
We saw peat being harvested in the fields and were taken to a pile of peat, beside the road, where tourists could select a free sample to take home. Of course, I got a chunk, to take home! I have friends and relatives who have never seen, felt, tasted, nor smelled a piece of peat. When someone asked about getting it through customs, we were told "they are used to seeing it".
We discovered the reason every town we were in, every shop, every restaurant, every street was immaculately clean. Ireland has begun having "Tidy Town" contests. Would you believe?
We stopped in Donagal, where I found a lovely gold bangle to add to my foreign bangle collection.
In Enniskillen, Northern Ireland we stopped to have some lunch and tour the Enniskillen Castle and St. Michael's Cathedral.
Passing through Omagh, our guide pointed out the spot where a bomb had gone off days earlier, killing eleven. We took up a collection.
In Derry, formerly known as Londonery, during our walking tour of the old city, we stopped at a bank to deposit our bombing collection and leamed the death toll in Omagh had gone from eleven to twenty nine.
Back on the road and on to the Giant's Causeway. Usually, before I travel to a particular country, I have one or two, or sometimes three tourist attractions I want to see and, when selecting a tour, I look for
a tour that encludes those places. For my trip to Ireland, my "must see" tourist attraction was the Giant's Causeway. Over the years, I have seen only one mention of the place but that was enough for my curiosity.
Quoting from A Geological Excursion Guide to The Causeway Coast by Paul Lyle, "For over 300 years the spectacular rock formations of the Giant's Causeway area on the north Antrim coast have attracted visitors and scientists from all over the world. In the early 18th century the Causeway itself was the subject of a great deal of controversy concerning the origins of volcanic rocks. It is now known internationally for its contribution to the growth of geology as a science."