Finally! On the third day of our road trip through Northern Ireland, the time had come to visit Giant’s Causeway. I will have to admit that this surreal natural wonder was actually the reason I wanted to visit Northern Ireland in the first place. My expectations were therefore sky high when our driver Bobby dropped us off at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Luckily, my expectations became more than fulfilled.
What is Giant’s Causeway?
When telling friends and family about our visit to Giant’s Causeway, it has actually been a bit difficult for me to explain what it is. Basically, it is just a pile of rocks by the coast. When many people think about the Irish coast, dramatic landscapes with rugged cliffs are what comes to mind. But Giant’s Causeway is something completely different. Here, you will find 40.000 hexagonal-shaped pillars – some of them 12 meters high – which are all created entirely by nature. It is beyond my comprehension how something that is hexagonal-shaped can be natural, but these pillars have been here for approximately 60 million years…
Our visit to Giant’s Causeway
After we were dropped off at the entrance to Giant’s Causeway, we walked approximately 1 kilometer downhill to the shore, where the columns are situated. The short walk down was in itself very beautiful, and we had to stop a lot to take picture after picture.
Admitted – you might have to be a fan of nature to think this is a cool place. Down by the columns there is not much more to do than look at, well, stones. So that was what we did. From many different angels! You are allowed to climb around on the stones (at your own risk of course), and we spent a fair amount of time just admiring the view and photographing pretty much everything. It is difficult to understand that something that crazy and different can be made by nature.
The legend about Giant’s Causeway
And how these pillars are created, there are many stories and myths about. The most well known is the one about the giant, Finn McCool. The legend says that Finn McCool had picked a fight with the Scottish giant, Benandonner. After numerous insults, Finn had had enough. He simply started to built a path between Northern Ireland and Scotland so the dispute could be settled. The connection between the two countries was ripped up by Benandonner though, which resulted in the Giant’s Causeway that we know today. The funny thing about this is, that there are actually basalt columns in Scotland, similar to those seen at Giant’s Causeway. They are situated at a place called Fingal’s Cave – so maybe there is some truth in the story after all…?
The real story behind Giant’s Causeway…
…might not be as impressive as the myth. Or is it? About 60 million years ago, 3 volcanic eruptions covered the area with lava. In the cooling process, the lava started to break into the symmetrical patterns that we see here today. This means that a millions of years old volcanic eruption is the reason behind one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in Europe. Even though it has nothing to do with giants, it is a pretty good story, right? 🙂
After a couple of ours at Giant’s Causeway, we continued our road trip through Northern Ireland. But I am incredibly happy that I got to experience this crazy landscape – and I would advise all you nature lovers out there to do the same 🙂
Would you like to experience this natural wonder? Then take a look at my 5 tips for visiting Giant’s Causeway!
Find your way
Giant’s Causeway is situated in the northern part of Northern Ireland. So if you arrive by car, you just head north 😉 No matter if you arrive by foot, bike, train or bus, you can get help to find your way at the official website of National Trust.
Visited in July 2017
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