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Ballintoy Harbour

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Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim, Northern Ireland ‚Äď Taken September 19, 2015

This photograph doesn’t really need many words. But here are mine:

“Something always pulls me towards the ocean. Gazing out at the seemingly infinite ocean makes everything seem possible.” – N

From Ballintoy with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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Ballintoy

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Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland – Taken September 19, 2015

We took¬†a beautiful scenic walk from Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge to Ballintoy Harbour! On our way up from Ballintoy Harbour – about halfway up Harbour Road, I took this photograph and it is one of my favourites. This is the¬†Ballintoy Parish Church, which has a long and rich history in the area. I like the single white building ‚Äď blending into the sky but at the same time in¬†contrast with the ground. It even looks like it is steeped in history!

Ballintoy¬†was one of our favourite stops in Ireland – quaint, quiet, friendly and beautiful. You almost feel like you are in another decade, in a simpler time. And I really liked that! The¬†gorgeous scenery just adds to the draw of this village. Ballintoy is also a good location for a home base while exploring the Antrim Coast. Besides being close to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Ballintoy Harbour, Ballintoy is also close to the Dark Hedges, Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, Portrush, Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. So it makes sense to situate yourself here and make day trips out to the surrounding area. We would definitely return to Ballintoy!

From Ballintoy with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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The Causeway Coast

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Larrybane/Carrick-a-Rede, The Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland – Taken September 19, 2015

We took this Postcard of Wanderlust while walking to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is looking out at the sheltered bay of Larrybane. Any Game of Thrones fans? Does this look familar? You might recognize this as the Stormlands and the scene of Renly Baratheon’s camp in Season 2.

These gorgeous cliffs are along the Causeway Coastal Route, winding through picturesque towns and villages along the North Coast from Belfast to Derry (Londonderry). The Causeway Coastal Route is rated to be one of the top road trips in Europe. Tourism Ireland and Northern Ireland Tourist Board have some itineraries that might be helpful.

So…¬†I think a road trip is in order – add this to the list of things we’ll need to do when we go back to Ireland!

From The Antrim Coast with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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The Dark Hedges

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The Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim, NI – Taken September 19, 2015

The popular TV show Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland. With¬†its dramatic and beautiful scenery, it’s not surprising that the show chose Northern Ireland.¬†Since the rise of this show, tourism in Northern Ireland has increased – particularly with Game of Thrones fans visiting various filming locations. There are guided tours dedicated to visiting the show’s¬†filming locations. There is even a Game of Thrones afternoon tea!

One of the stops on our All Ireland Rocker tour was the Dark Hedges in County Antrim. This beautiful tree-lined avenue was meant to awe visitors as they made their way to the Stuart family mansion -Gracehill House. These beech trees were planted in the 18th century. Even in the year 2015, we were awed at the sight of the hauntingly beautiful trees and the dramatic avenue.

The Dark Hedges were¬†made famous as “The King’s Road” in season 2 of Game of Thrones. Since then, the number of tourists searching for this previously quiet and unknown site has increased dramatically! Dave, our tour guide, told us¬†new signs had to be put up to guide wandering¬†tourists to the Dark Hedges. Due to its popularity, there are often many cars, buses and visitors on this avenue. I was lucky enough to snap this photograph while there were no cars or people in my shot and it is one of my favourites!

From The Dark Hedges with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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A Christmas Postcard!

We visited Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. There were so many tempting souvenirs in the gift shop – from Corgi stuffed animals (super cute!!!) to Royal bone china tea sets to pencils with little crowns on them. One particular souvenir caught our eyes – this Christmas ornament!

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This is the Piper Teddy Ornament. It is really cute and we thought it would be a lovely souvenir from Scotland – with the bagpipes and the tartan. We both ended up getting one and we couldn’t wait to take it out of the box and hang it on our trees! We know this is one ornament that we will be using year after year. And whenever we look at it, we’ll be reminiscing about our amazing trip to Scotland!

From Edinburgh with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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Guinness Academy

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Guinness Academy at the Guinness Storehouse – taken September 18, 2015

Exactly three months ago today, we were in Dublin at the Guinness Storehouse. This was one of the highlights of our trip! When in Ireland, right?!

It was here that we learned how to pour a pint of Guinness. There’s definitely a technique to it – from the usage of the proper, authentic Guinness pint glass, the tilt of the glass, to topping off a perfect pint. And now that we are certified pourers of Guinness, we will forever be analyzing how our pints are poured. ūüėČ We’re also sure that future employers will find this skill useful, so this is going on the resume, along with the certificate we got!

We definitely recommend trying your hand at pouring your own pint if you are visiting the Guinness Storehouse. It’s great fun and you get full bragging rights ūüėČ

From Dublin with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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The Old Library

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The Old Library at Trinity College – taken September 17, 2015

Just walking into the Long Room of the Old Library, we had to stop right in the doorway. We were in awe! Besides being absolutely gorgeous, with its barrel vaulted ceilings, its shelves and panels in the beautiful dark wood, and its rows and rows of books, there was that distinctive and lovely ‚Äúold books‚ÄĚ smell. I‚Äôm sure there are some of you out there who know exactly what I mean! You probably just smiled and sighed contently.

We are both book lovers and would have loved to spend a full day here just reading and exploring the stacks and stacks of books here. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed behind the ropes so we couldn’t fulfill that dream! But we still loved our time in this beautiful and historic library.

From Dublin with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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Temple Bar, Dublin

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The Temple Bar Pub – taken September 17, 2015

This Postcard of Wanderlust was taken during the quieter daytime hours at the Temple Bar Pub.

The Temple Bar area is known for being a cultural capital of Dublin, with many studios, galleries and theatres in the area. It is also known for its nightlife. There are many pubs and eateries lining the streets in this area, with much of the party spilling out into the streets. Yes, it is quite touristy and the prices are reflective of this. And the crowds can sometimes be too raucous and obnoxious. But, we still think it is something to be experienced when you are in Dublin. Take a leisurely and quiet(er!) stroll during the day to admire the buildings, take in views of the River Liffey and to snap some photographs of the iconic Temple Bar Рlike we did. Then return at night to experience the nightlife that the Temple Bar area is known for.

There is live music every single night in every pub here. The music would flow out to the street and we found ourselves walking and singing through Temple Bar. ¬†The music is infectious – you can’t help but tap your foot, clap your hands and really get into it. We really miss this! And it wasn’t even just the live music – it was the fact that everyone in the pub would sing along. Even though we didn’t know many of the Traditional Irish songs that were being sung, we caught on to the chorus and sang that as loud as we could, along with the rest of the pub. And this didn’t end with the pubs in Temple Bar or Dublin. Every pub we went to in Ireland was the same way – full of life, music, clapping and singing.¬†And, after enough pints, there was even some dancing! ūüėČ

This is one of the things we miss most about Ireland.

From Dublin with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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Duncansby Head

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Duncansby Head – Taken October 6, 2015

This Postcard of Wanderlust was taken in Scotland. We were at Duncansby Head, in the north of Scotland. After a short walk, we were rewarded with this spectacular view.  Those are sea stacks РDuncansby Stacks, in the distance. We had such amazing weather that day Рblue skies and sunshine. That made for some amazing photographs, like this one. Definitely postcard worthy!

From Duncansby Head with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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