We arrived in Ireland so early in the morning there was hardly any daylight and immediately jumped in a rental car, heading straight out of Dublin towards Northern Ireland. Although it took a while to adjust to driving on the left, being on the highway so soon after arriving left us feeling like we could be anywhere, even driving through the pasture lands of the mid-western US. Knowing that by the time we arrived in Northern Ireland it would still be far too early to check into our little AirBnb in Portrush, we set out to visit the nearby Dark Hedges instead.
Planted in the eighteenth century, the Dark Hedges are an avenue of ancient beech trees originally planted to create a beautiful entrance to a nearby manor. Over the last several hundred years their branches have stretched and twisted together, forming a striking tree tunnel that is a favorite of photographers, and even made an appearance in an episode of Game of Thrones.
For a while we thought we were lost, driving down an number of curving, single-lane country rounds in search of what would be the first of many address-less destinations, but then suddenly we turned a corner and there they were, twisted and towering, and suddenly it hit us hard that our adventures in a new place had begun.