The whole area around Titanic Belfast is called the Titanic Quarter. The redevelopment of the former shipyards of Queen's Island is breathing new life into the historic Belfast waterfront.
After a delicious Sunday lunch we decided to go out for a walk in the local area. A few minutes from their house is the River Braid and the Broughshane Environment Wildfowl and Wildlife Trust. Volunteers have established a wildlife area around the village pond. All seven species of swan to be found in the world including Polish Mute, Australian Black, Black Necked, Coscoroba, Trumpeters, Whistlers and Whoopers are in the reserve. The aim is to develop the reserve and local walks as a tourist attraction to help sustain the village and the rural way of life while at the same time educating young and old on the importance of protecting our environment. The sun came out as we walked along the riverside.
From Broughshane we had glimpses of Slemish Mountain. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick, enslaved as a youth, was brought to this area and tended sheep on Slemish, and that during this time he found God. Slemish is the remains of the plug of an ancient volcano and dominates the landscape for miles around.
The giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. It is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986 and is now managed by the National Trust. It is truly awesome! The tops of the columns form stepping stones from the foot of the cliffs until they disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are 12 metres high with the solidified lava in the cliffs up to 28 metres thick in places.
The Ewarts treated us to lunch in the magnificent Slieve Donard Hotel. This grand Victorian hotel is set in 6-acre grounds overlooking the Irish Sea. It is opposite the famous Royal County Down Golf Club. A stroll on the promenade looking up at the Mountains of Mourne provided a perfect end to our stay in Northern Ireland.
** I have uploaded a Northern Ireland gallery in 'Photographs'.
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Have a good week!