No time and no Internet last night so I am playing catch up with our travels…
Saturday morning we set off early, heading out of Belfast centre towards the eastern suburbs.
Our first stop was to view a statue called “The Searcher” in tribute to CS Lewis. He grew up in East Belfast, and lived across the road from another member of my family, Arthur Greeves, my grandfather’s first cousin. Lewis and Arthur Greeves remained lifelong friends, and Lewis’s letters to Arthur have been published as “They stand together”
Lewis’s childhood home “LittleLea” is privately owned and not visible from the road, and Arthur’s house, known as Bernagh, is now demolished. But we drove past where it had stood. We then set about finding houses occupied by various members of the Greeves family which I knew were in the same area of Belfast, but I just had their names, Lismachen, Altona, and Tweskard. From the wonders of google maps I thought I knew where Lismachen was, and feeling a bit daring we turned into an unmarked driveway and drove up through a park like garden to the front of the house. It looked to be divided into apartments, and possibly some offices now. But I was able to take a photo and then we drove back down the drive before anyone asked us what we were doing! Altona turned out to be large house, estate even, along the road from Lismachen. This time there was no open drive way, it was firmly gated. A little further on we found a development of houses called Tweskard park, which I guess is where the original Tweskard house once stood.
Feeling a bit stunned at the obvious size of these family houses, we decided we had done enough family history, and set off north from Belfast. We drove through the Glens of Antrim, to the beautiful hidden and unspoilt Antrim coast, with views across to Scotland. White sand, turquoise sea and the winding scenic road was lined with hedgerows of wild fuchsia – just glorious.
Then on to the World Heritage site of the Giants Causeway. Amazing though it is I didn’t find it as beautiful as the earlier beaches, but fascinating to see the convergence of coaches carrying hundreds of tourists from all corners of the globe!
Our last stop on this leg of our journeying was the romantic ruin of Duluce Castle, said to be the inspiration for the castle of Cair Paravel in the Narnia stories. We loved the Antrim coast, and can understand why CS Lewis was inspired by its landscapes.