“I have seen landscapes . . . which, under a particular light, make me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.”– C. S. Lewis
After spending a night in Galway, Ireland, we woke up early to make the four hour drive to Giant’s Causeway on our way to Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from the causeway. Let me just preface this post with this. The pictures I took at Giant’s Causeway are pure trash compared to the real thing (isn’t that always the case though?). This is a place that cannot be captured by an amateur (me) just hanging out at the causeway for an afternoon. This place needs to be seen in person, or at least take a look at the photos on the website that is stocked with professional shots.
Located at 44 Causeway Rd, Bushmills BT57 8SU, UK the Giant’s Causeway is open from 9:00-6:00 p.m. with a suggested visit time of three or more hours, our visit was probably about four hours. When you arrive at the causeway you can park across the street from the giant welcome center. In the center you will find history, stories, myths, a snack bar, and restrooms. You can choose from a variety of tours and options depending on your interests and time frame. We took our own walking tour with an audio guide which was perfect: we got to learn all about the mystery, folklore, and incredible geography at our own pace with random stops to climb the slippery rocks. We walked to the causeway from the center- you can also take a shuttle, but it is not that far at all, plus you can listen to stories on your audio guide as you approach.
The Causeway is a result of an ancient volcanic eruption that created over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns over 50,000 years ago! If science isn’t your thing, according to legend, the columns were built by a giant named Fionn mac Cumhaill! As the story goes he was challenged to a fight by a Scottish giant, Benandonner, and built the causeway so the two could meet for a duel. In one version of the story Fionn sees how big his competitor is, so he and his wife disguise him as a baby in a cradle. When Benandonner sees this so-called-baby, he assumes that if Fionn’s son is this big, then his father must be a real giant! So he runs back to Scotland and destroys the causeway that connected to two lands so that Fionn wouldn’t be able to attack him. Since there are identical columns on the Scottish coast, it is believed this may have influenced the story. Throughout the site, you can see various items that belonged to the giant such as the Giant Boot, and The Organ he played (see image below).
We walked several paths though the causeway, and climbed a steep path to the top of the causeway where we were encountered by the most bugs I have ever seen in my life! We jogged through some swarms to the edge of the cliff to see the sights below- and it was worth it. Even in some of the pictures we took you can see the bugs flying around. On the way back we trekked through the bugs with eyes closed- pretty dangerous seeing how we were on the edge of death. When we got to the car we had bugs all over us! In our hair! In our shoes! Even my bra that was two layers deep! It was insane. After we had been driving they kept coming from hiding places which was pretty funny. On the bright side, they were similar to our lovebugs we have in Florida- they didn’t seem to bite and were not that scary, just more of a nuisance.
Near the Giant’s Causeway you will find Carrick-a-Rede Rope, a long rope suspension bridge that looks really cool! My friends visited and said it was awesome, so I have it on my list for the next time I am in the area since were not able to fit it in on this trip. They suggest about a two hour visit or more and it is only £9 for admission.
In sum, this is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon if you are visiting the northern region of Ireland or Northern Ireland. We really enjoyed the outdoors, despite the bugs, and learning about the mythology. Have you been to Giant’s Causeway? Were you able to capture amazing photos? I would love to see them!