Photographer's Note

This photo does not look like Ireland at all. There is so much light and color. This is how beautiful Ireland becomes on those very rare sunny days. I have visited and crossed this suspension bridge already twice. First time, when we arrived, the weather looked same but just before entering the bridge some dark and heavy clouds arrived out of nowhere and rain started to pour. We had umbrellas and goretex shoes and jackets but the wind was so strong and the rain so intense... In the middle of the bridge I was really scared because the wind started to swing the bridge very much and it became slippery and my wife was holding the umbrella in one hand. I screamed to her to throw away the umbrella and hold on tight to the bridge but she didn’t... Well, we did cross miraculously to the other side but the rain kept coming. The island was so tiny and there was no place to hide from rain. There was no visibility at all so there was no point to stay there any longer but to cross back we needed to wait in the long line as the bridge has a changeable one-way direction. Finally we have crossed the bridge back. It takes about 20 more minutes to the parking. In the very second we have reached the parking spot the rain was gone and the sun came out from behind the clouds... We were completely wet. Nothing can protect you from the rain if it falls from all directions and is so intense. We called it an ultimate Irish experience. I guess looking at this colourful picture full of sun it is hard to imagine what we have experienced.

This place is about ten minutes drive from the famous Giants Causeway. For the exact location see the map in the panel on the right.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island. It spans twenty metres and is thirty metres above the rocks below. Today the bridge is mainly a tourist attraction, with 247,000 visitors in 2009. Carrick-a-rede means 'rock in the road'. It is thought salmon fishermen have been erecting bridges to the island for over 350 years. It has taken many forms over the years. In the 1970s it featured only a single handrail and large gaps between the slats. A version of the bridge, tested up to ten tonnes, was built with the help of local climbers and abseilers in 2000. A subsequent design was engineered in 2004 and offers visitors and fishermen alike a much safer passage to the island. The current wire rope and Douglas fir bridge was made by Heyn Construction in Belfast and erected early in 2008 at a cost of over Ł16,000. Although no one has fallen off the bridge, there have been many instances where visitors, unable to face the walk back across the bridge, have had to be taken off the island by boat

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7276 W: 106 N: 19163] (73440)
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