Ok, we’re back in Northern Ireland! Newcastle is a delightful seaside town in the coastal area where the Mourne Mountains touch the sea. The boardwalk is fun in itself. We encountered an accordion band one day – yes, thirty accordion players doing every song you can think of. There are inexpensive ice cream parlors with great ice cream, pubs, clothing stores, and even book stores. One fancy hotel offered an intimate dinner concert with Van Morrison for his 70th birthday, but it would have run us $350 each… YIKES! It seems that Irish people of all backgrounds come together here to party, relax, and forget conflicts.
There are wonderful sand dunes and a coastal hike south of town, with great views of the Mourne Mountains. These mountains have the same geological origin as Yosemite Valley – underground magma forced granite formations upward. Of course, they are not as tall as the Sierras any more. Back roads take you through grass filled valleys filled with the omnipresent sheep. We will return, Newcastle – we met great people there, and had a fun night in a pub!
The first shot is Newcastle. The second is the Mourne Mts. from the sand dunes, and the third is that dude in the interior mountains.