Ballintoy is a small village located in Northern Ireland in the County Antrim along the beautiful B15 coast road. I was fortunate enough to spend a few weeks here, house sitting for Harold and Alice Morden who were in Italy on vacation. Harold was my high school math teacher over 15 years ago and whom I've kept in touch with over the years. When Jamie and I had passed through Northern Ireland last month we'd spent an afternoon with them, during which they kindly offered their place to me while they were away.
Their house overlooks the Atlantic ocean with a beautiful view of the cliff's of Sheep Island, Rathlin Island a little further in the distance, and some Scottish islands and the Scottish mainland even further in the distance. Staying here provided me a chance to catch up on much needed rest and on work. I got out for a couple of hikes along the amazing coastline, though not as much as I'd have liked due to being sick for much of my stay. From here I'm headed to Sweden, and then Italy.
We flew into Belfast International Airport and rented a small car, circling the northern half of the island. Driving in Ireland proved to be an adventure, not just because the steering wheel wasn't where I typically expect it, nor just because the traffic flowed in a direction that seemed counter intuitive to me. The windy narrow roads encourage creative driving and a certain amount of faith and good luck, further compounded by the Irish tendency to park anywhere and everywhere that's convenient for the person parking. Having the car did give us the freedom to explore at our rapid pace, always in a bit of a hurry as there was far more we wanted to see than we really had time for.
We followed the coastline through Northern Ireland, then headed down the west coast into the Republic of Ireland through Galway into Doolin from some traditional music. We explored a couple of caves, and got as far south as the Cliffs of Moher, offering a spectacular view. We then cut across the center of the country and headed east into Dublin from where we flew back to England.