An afternoon on the Causeway Coast
Dunluce Castle was the starting point for a brief afternoon on the Causeway coast on Monday. It was one of the most beautiful days in recent months: crisp and clear with remarkable visibility (that's Scotland on the horizon) and a good cloud day, as a friend described it. It was also bitterly cold, as you can see from the traces of snow in the right foreground, with a biting wind.
Dunluce is a place to dream, even on a cold day.
Next stop was the new visitor centre at the Giant's Causeway. It is very impressive and well worth a visit, although quite expensive if you are not a member of the National Trust. There was no time to walk to the causeway itself but just to check out the newly laid paths along the cliff top and to watch the play of the sunlight on the coast. It is amazing on a day like that how quickly the scene can change. In the photo below the sun streaks the sea from the west and picks out the most distant cliff. A few moments later and it highlights the pillars of the causeway, gilding the normally dark basalt. Another few minutes and the whole coast line is lit up.
I think I probably prefer the first shot with because of the highlighting effect and the contrast. The colours of the sea were magnificent.
It is a short drive from the Causeway to Ballintoy harbour where I hoped to get a cup of tea, but the cafe is still closed at this time of year! The wind was at its strongest here making the use of a tripod for longer exposures impossible. So I contented myself with a few handheld shots, perched rather precariously on the rocks.
The first shot shows Sheep Island, with Rathlin in the mid distance and the mountains of South West Scotland showing well on the horizon.
I ventured a little closer to the sea so that it would be the main feature. As I look at the photo I can almost feel the sea breeze in my face.
As I waited for the changing light I began to explore a little more closely and discovered the final shot of the trip: an underwater 'island' consisting of a flat rock covered with a forest of the most vivid green seaweed, surrounded by long waving strands of kelp and beautifully coloured pebbles. I looked closely for sea people, but unfortunately they were hiding that day.
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