Marce aced the park-up again. She found a large, free, nearly flat parking lot facing the Lough of Belfast in the middle of downtown Carrickfergus. Not an easy thing to do. The Irish, it seems, insist on their pound of flesh or simply install heavy height barriers that stop us from using many car parks. Not exactly welcoming. We’re not in Scotland anymore but at least several large grocery stores were right across the street and remarkably, tucked away in a corner of the lot, was a French style aire de service, expressly for servicing RVs. They hate us…then they love us.
However there was a disquieting presence that we both felt in this otherwise soft touch. Every so often, actually more than made sense, we would stop and glance up staring all the way across this large lot of parked cars at the hulking dark almost malevolent presence of Carrickfergus Castle. I know it’s supposed to look threatening, which it does very well, but we couldn’t understand why we didn’t feel protected or at least well defended by its over dominant feng shui. Maybe that’s all it is. That evening we decided on a bit of a stretch and inevitably, on our stroll, we were drawn to the dark imposing walls of the castle. You know, it’s a “face your discomfort” kind of thing.
Note to Carrickfergus town council: some cheerful lighting playing on the castle walls at night might be nice. There’s something just not right about this thing. We both decided this would be more fun on a sunny day especially before the crowds descended on us. Against all odds the next morning we got just that.
Begun in 1177, surrounded on three sides with rocky walls rising out of the water of the Lough of Belfast, the sturdy Norman style Carrickfergus Castle is indeed imposing.
One buys one’s ticket in the gift shop and you’ll soon find yourself watching a helpful orientation video.
A massive keep dominates the interior space.
Some of the largest caliber guns we’ve seen.
Looks like it’s time to go.