I am so excited to present my readers with my first post about Ireland! The Emerald Isle is renowned worldwide for its breath-taking landscape. Yes, you could say me being Irish makes me biased and I can’t fault you on that judgement. I’m so proud to call Ireland my home country. Each year I fall in love with its beauty a little more. From its serene lakes, blustery beaches, stunning cliff views, secretive caves, venturous mountains, to its daring forest trails. Ireland really has something for everyone. Unless you’re an avid sunbathing fan.. then you’re seriously goosed!
After two years of living in a constant heatwave, I was eager to get home and explore Ireland’s hidden gems. The Giant’s Causeway being my first point of interest. When arriving home last summer from the Middle East, the first thing I decided upon was a road-trip to Belfast with two of my most entertaining friends. Usually we’re quite lazy when it comes to going ahead with plans, so completing a drive to Northern Ireland was a challenge in itself. The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland. You have the option of travelling there by motorway or you can opt for the more scenic route. The scenic route is a little longer, but the views are remarkable. I would recommend you take that route!
It’s common knowledge that most Irish landmarks have an historical legend. The Irish just can’t help being born-storytellers! Of course, I presumed the Giant’s Causeway would be no different. Luckily the myth has nothing to do with Leprechauns and pots of gold, so I won’t be boring you with typical Irish legend.
A quick summary is that the Irish mythical giant warrior, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, was challenged to fight by a Scottish giant named Benandonner. Fionn accepted the request and so built the causeway across the North Channel. On arrival, he found Benandonner asleep. Fionn realised Benandonner was much bigger than him and so he left back to Ireland where his wife disguised him as a baby. Once Benandonner woke, he travelled to Ireland to fight Fionn. When Benandonner sees the size of the ‘baby’, he presumes that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He escaped back to Scotland, abolishing the causeway to avoid Fionn following him back to Scotland.
The real story? The 40,000 basalt stone columns were left by volcanic eruptions, which occurred 60 million years ago. A little bit more realistic (and a lot more boring!) than the Irish myth about giants.
Walking along the spectacular coastal scenery in the fresh 14⁰ Celsius air is an exhilarating, refreshing feeling. A much-needed change of scenery for me, being in the desert heat all year! Recommended trail maps and an audio-guide are provided at the Visitor’s Centre so be prepared for a fun day out. Giant’s Causeway may be in the middle of the countryside but you’re always about 10 feet from a pub in Ireland. You’ll find one right beside the Visitor’s Centre. Enjoy the scrumptious Irish pub grub, the light-hearted atmosphere and of course, the famous Irish craic! After a long day of exploring, be sure to get yourself a cold pint of Guinness or a hot Jameson whiskey, depending on how lucky you get with the weather on the day!