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Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Europe, Ireland

Northern Ireland & The Giants Causeway

Northern Ireland & The Giants Causeway

Meg and I booked a tour to see the Northern part of Ireland. We decided to go with a 1 day trip to the Giants Causeway as my time was short. We went with Paddywagon – and what an excellent choice that turned out to be. We hopped on the tour bus; just Megan and I, 2 Venezuelans, and our cute Driver & tour guide Collum.

1 Day Giants Causeway and Derry (From Dublin)

  • 06:45 Meet at reception of Paddys Palace Hostel
  • 09.00 Belfast the Capital.
  • 09:30 Leave Belfast
  • 10.40: Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
  • 12:00 Giants Causeway
  • 14:00 Depart for Historic Derry
  • 18:30 Depart for Dublin
      
      

During the first 2.5 hours on our way to Carrick-a-Rede bridge, Collum spoke about Irish history and made jokes and generally kept me entertained; since the Venezuelans did not understand his accent very well and Megan was asleep. This is what I call service. Our first actual full stop was at the Carrick-a-Rede bridge which was originally built by salmon fisherman. And a special point about this area is right across the way is Bonnie Scotland!

The coast of Ireland is spectacular. Rocky Cliffs and then there is the Giants Causeway. Stunning. The area consists of an estimated 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns, which were formed during a volcano eruption 60 million years ago.

The explanation of how the Giant’s Causeway came to be lies in the legend of Finn McCoo Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhail) an Irish Giant lived on an Antrim headland and one day when going about his daily business a Scottish Giant named Fingal began to shout insults and hurl abuse from across the channel. In anger Finn lifted a clod of earth and threw it at the giant as a challenge, the earth landed in the sea. Fingal retaliated with a rock thrown back at Finn and shouted that Finn was lucky that he wasn’t a strong swimmer or he would have made sure he could never fight again. Finn was enraged and began lifting huge clumps of earth from the shore, throwing them so as to make a pathway for the Scottish giant to come and face him. However by the time he finished making the crossing he had not slept for a week and so instead devised a cunning plan to fool the Scot. Finn diguised himself as a baby in a cot and when his adversary came to face him Finn’s wife told the Giant that Finn was away but showed him his son sleeping in the cradle. The Scottish giant became apprehensive, for if the son was so huge, what size would the father be? In his haste to escape Fingal sped back along the causeway Finn had built, tearing it up as he went. He is said to have fled to a cave on Staffa which is to this day named ‘Fingal’s Cave’.(Quote)

Next up was Derry. We were warned it was VERY dangerous still in certain areas but personally, I didn’t find the city bad or dangerous, although we did not spend a lot of time there. The most questionable activity I encountered was when some kids said hello to me, I responded with a hello, and they mocked my Canadian accent and laughed. Real dangerous. I’m an entertainin’ lass I know.

  

Derry is the location of what is referred to as “Bloody Sunday” from 1972 when British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civil-rights protesters and bystanders.

1 Comment

  1. Neat looking swing bridge! Those rocks are pretty incredible too, almost like crystal rock formations.

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