The walkway of the giant

Giant's Causeway Travel Blog

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Giant's Causeway - the basalt columns go on for a long ways

We got up pretty early in the morning and went to the supermarket in Derry before heading out.  A group of us picked up some lunchmeat, bread, fruit, etc that we could eat on the bus before we arrived at the Giant's Causeway, and it was a nice, cheap, healthy lunch!  (My favorite kind).  We arrived at the site and as we began to walk around, we could see beautiful views everywhere!  The top of the cliffs offered great views of the countryside.  Down the cliffs was the strait and the causeway.

Now, to set the record straight, the Giant's Causeway is a natural volcanic rock formation.  Volcanoes in Ireland?  Well, all islands like Ireland are formed by repeated volcanic eruptions over a looong time.  Anyway, the causeway consists of almost perfectly shaped hexagonal rocks that extend from the shore out into the sea.

View of the coast
  The myth surrounding the rocks is that an Irish giant, Finn MacCool, placed to get over to Scotland and his adversary, Benandonner.  As the story goes, Finn completed the land bridge, and went to rest for a day.  As he rested, Benandonner came to Finn's house to fight him.  Finn's wife quickly convinced Benandonner that Finn was a much larger and tougher giant by dressing Finn up like a baby!  If this is the baby, how big is the father...?  Needless to say, Benandonner ran back to Scotland, but ran so fast that he destroyed a large part of the bridge.  Thus, all you can see today are the basalt rocks going off the coast in Ireland and coming up the coast in Scotland (yes, there are basalt rocks on Scotland's side, too!).
Caves near the causeway

It is near this point that Ireland and Scotland are the closest to each other, only about 12 miles apart.  This got me excited because I knew I was going there next!  For now, I would enjoy the magic that surrounded Ireland...and what an amazing place it is!

After we left the causeway and before we reached Belfast, we stopped seemingly in the middle of nowhere and found a bridge leading to a small island with great views of both Ireland and Scotland.  We walked out over the bridge to the island (one at a time, please!) and spent some of the afternoon there.  It was here that the sun finally came out and it got so warm that we took our coats off!  The weather is always unpredictable in the Britist Isles, but seemingly more so in May!

A thousand years ago, this part of Ireland was often under attack by the vikings of Scandanavia.

Near Giant's Causeway
  There was one flat island in the middle of the sea where the Irish would leave sheep, fruits, etc as an offering to the vikings so that they would not be attacked and plundered.  One day, the leader of his tribe in Ireland decided to offer his daughter to the vikings as a final peace offering, thinking that perhaps with such a gift the vikings would leave his people alone.  The Irish went to the island after the vikings had come and gone...only to find his daughter still on the island!  (I don't think it improved relations with the vikings, and I think the leader and his daughter needed some counciling after that!)

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Giants Causeway - the basalt colu…
Giant's Causeway - the basalt col…
View of the coast
View of the coast
Caves near the causeway
Caves near the causeway
Near Giants Causeway
Near Giant's Causeway
Shipwreck near the causeway
Shipwreck near the causeway
Bridge leading off an island that …
Bridge leading off an island that…
View from the cliffs of Giants Ca…
View from the cliffs of Giant's C…
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Giants Causeway - look at how the…
Giant's Causeway - look at how th…
From a small island with Scotland …
From a small island with Scotland…
From a small island with Scotland …
From a small island with Scotland…
The infamous viking island
The infamous viking island
Some of the group on Giants Cause…
Some of the group on Giant's Caus…
Us posing
Us posing
View of Ireland near Giants Cause…
View of Ireland near Giant's Caus…
Caves near Giants Causeway
Caves near Giant's Causeway
View of Ireland near Giants Cause…
View of Ireland near Giant's Caus…
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Me hanging out on the rocks
Me hanging out on the rocks
Caves near Giants Causeway
Caves near Giant's Causeway
Ireland is beautiful
Ireland is beautiful
Giant's Causeway
photo by: paulkernan