Ireland, Northern Ireland, UNESCO World Heritage sites

Monday, May 21, 2012: The Giant’s Causeway

After a short ferry ride across Lough Foyle, we were in the United Kingdom. The currency was now pound sterling and the speed limits and distances were in miles. The feel of the country was different. The houses tended to be larger, the fields tended to be fenced instead of walled. And yet the sheep were still everywhere.

Our goal was to visit the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and then get to our hotel near the Dublin Airport fairly quickly. We had to return the rental car that night and we were tired already with most of the day behind us and a long way to go.

We stopped briefly at Dunluce Castle, and had it been earlier in our trip I feel sure we would have paid to go into it, but instead we just took photos from the outside. This 13th century castle ruin is on the edge of the seacliffs, and one day the kitchen split away and fell into the ocean, taking the kitchen staff with it.

Since I wasn’t feeling so hot, we parked at the Park and Ride in Bushmills and took a shuttle to the Giant’s Causeway, which was a bit cheaper. Then we took a shuttle again down to the stepping stones of Finn M’Coul. I wanted to save my energy for climbing around this mindblowing geological formation. Science says that it is a result of a lava flow that cooled slowly. Folklore says that the giant Finn M’Coul began laying a stepping stone path in the sea over to Scotland.

Bladder campion – one of my favorite wildflowers

If I lived near here, I’d want to go here every weekend.

Next post: Coming home

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