Giant's CausewaySeptember 11, 2016 in the United Kingdom
It's hard to believe that these hexagonal formations were formed over 60 million years ago!
It's hard to believe that these hexagonal formations were formed over 60 million years ago!
Today was a beautiful sunny day with bright blue skies, a great day for sightseeing. Our first stop travelling from Derry was to the Dark Hedges, around 94 enormous Beech trees planted over two centuries ago. The avenue of trees appears in the series Game of Thrones.
We then followed the Antrim Coastal Road to the Giant's Causeway, a massive expanse of interlocking basalt columns, a result of volcanic activity. The coastline on such a perfect day was breathtaking. The vivid blues and greens in such contrast to the grey of the basalt.
Next we traversed the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. A rope bridge 30 metres above the sea that allows fishermen to access their boats off a headland point to catch migrating salmon. Now the rope bridge is used mainly as a tourist attraction but there was a boat on the adjoining island that the fisherman still use. In Larrybane Bay you could also see the remains of a fort which sat on the headland around AD800.
We continued along the coastline where we saw pretty coastal villages, a patchwork quilt of fields, and desolate plateaus laced with pink heather. The sides of the hills were hedged by compact shrubs and blackberries to form "ladder farms". These run up the side of the valley and give each farming family an equal share of lowland pasture and steeper land which is used mainly for grazing sheep. After navigating blind summits, hidden dips and yield signs for sheep and cows we finally reached Belfast in the late afternoon.Read more
Today started out cloudy but with no rain and it stayed that way for most of the day. I imagined I could see the Scottish coast but I really don’t think I could see that far in this weather.
I started out at the Giant’s Causeway and I had expected it to be a lot bigger somehow. I did enjoy listening to the stories on the audio guide. I’m glad I had headphones as most of the other people with audio guides seem to be struggling to hear them. I keep the cheap headphones from the hop on hop off buses for this very purpose.
The stones in the Causeway are fascinating. Many different types in such a small area.
Yesterday the car notified me that one of the tyres had low pressure. I put air in it and we were fine until the evening when it happened again. It happened again on the way to the Giant’s Causeway and so once I was done I found a service station, put air in the tire and rang the car hire company. I was informed that I was liable for the tyre and the cheapest option would probably be to have it repaired myself. Fortunately the service station I was at had a tyre repairer attached so I soon had it sorted out. Fortunately the tyre was able to be repaired. I’m not sure what it was - probably a small piece of glass or metal as it was no longer there. At £16.50 I think I got off quite lightly.
I then wound my way down between the Glens of Antrim and the coast road to Belfast. The Glens were very pretty. Forrests mainly. I stopped at Glenariff Forrest Park and went for a short walk.
I’m in Belfast for the next three nights.Read more
Not even 10 minutes into the trip and already our guide was giving us information on the tunnel we were passing through. The Dublin Port Tunnel is the longest urban tunnel in Ireland. That may not be a sight to see, or a destination on a map, but I found it pretty interesting. Now we're off and running, all the while enjoying classic Irish weather (light rain), and beautiful countryside. I can say confidently that I'm quite grateful for my first souvenir on a day like this.
After driving for a while and stopping to get food (I got a chicken and bacon toastie), as well as use the facilities, we were back on the road. Suddenly, the tour guide says "Okay, were about to cross the border so get out your passport and ID's." pausing long enough that everyone on the bus had a moment to panic, she then says "Okay, go ahead an put them away, we've crossed the border." I thought it was a pretty funny way to bring the whole Brexit situation to light, and that they're still not sure what will happen with their border, but that may be because I would have been able to produce those documents. One of the other things she mentioned is that in Northern Ireland (U.K.) they use miles, whereas the Republic of Ireland uses kilometers.
Our first stop along the tour was at Dunluce Castle. It had stopped raining, so we didn't really need our jackets, but to call the weather blustery would have been a vast understatement. Our tour guide informed us that it was originally owned by the McQuilllan family, but was taken over by the McDonnell family in 1550. Although this was just a photo stop, it was lovely to look at, and apparently it's the castle that is used for the Greyjoy castle in Game of Thrones.
Nearing our second destination of the day we had to pass through Bushmills, where they're very well known for whiskey. Our guide also informed us that Bushmills is the oldest whiskey distillery, ever, and they started by using the water from the river right next to it. I guess Ireland wins that round. Finally we pulled up to Giant's Causeway, the place I've been looking forward to most. After a lovely walk down the cliffs, and roughly 20 photos later, the rock formations can finally be seen. Giant's Causeway was formed 50 to 60 million years ago when lava flowed up the coast to form hexagonal pillars, and the ones with iron in them have a deep red coloring. On a clear day, because it's only 17 miles away, Scotland can be seen from the causeway. Truly, breathtaking scenery.
As a side note, because our bus had gone off somewhere during our time, people kept coming up to me asking if I knew when it would be back. I can only presume that I was the only person they recognized from the group because of my purple hair. At least I was able to reassure them that they wouldn't be left behind.
From the causeway we continued on to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, but due to the windy conditions we aren't able to cross over it, which was fine because we only had an hour at this stop. I suppose them not wanting us to get blown in to the ocean is a good thing. The bridge was made as an alternative to boats to get to the island for fishing. After stepping off the bus and spending 15 minutes walking the wrong way (the pictures were worth it), I was able to powerwalk down to the rope bridge to at least take a picture before making my way back to the bus. I was also the only person not wearing a jacket, apparently because I'm a lunatic.
A short drive later we were pulling up to Dark Hedges. This road has beech trees over 230 years old and were planted to create an imposing entrance. One hundred fifty trees were originally placed along the path, but after a severe storm in 2016 only ninety-nine remain. This was another location that Game of Thrones has filmed, so unfortunately there was no way to get a photo without tourists in it, but it was still very impressive to see.
On the way back to the bus from the final stop I stumbled upon a small walkway. At first I thought it might just be a garden that wasn't in bloom, but walking through I realized that it was filled with fairy homes. Dozens of them. Certainly an unexpected surprise, but a fun way to end my trip before heading back to Dublin.Read more
The Giants Causeway. (Damm des Riesen)
Ein Naturschauspiel der Extreme. Ca. 40.000 Basaltsäulen die von der Natur geformt wurden. Ein UNESCO Weltkulturerbe. Absolut Phantastisch!
Ein ‚Must See’ in NordIrland!
Die letzte Station auf unserer Tagestour und für mich definitiv einer der besten Orte der ganzen Reise ♥
Eine Felsenschlucht in perfektem grün mündet in eine Ansammlung von vulkanischen Steinformationen, die vollkommen surreal wirken: Mehr als 40.000 fast perfekte sechseckige Säulen stehen hier, eine neben der anderen, wie Teile eines Puzzles. Ohne Frage, Szenen wie aus dem Bilderbuch!
Laut der wissenschaftlichen Version zur Entstehung, ist diese Felsformation auf das Erkalten von Lavaströmen und den Einflüssen von Hitze und Kälte zurückzuführen.Read more
Nachdem unser Schweiß vom Aufstieg getrocknet ist folgen wir weiter unserem Navi. Wir befinden uns lange auf der "Causeway Coastal Route". Die Straße in Nordirland, die ein Highlight nach dem anderen ausgeschildert hat. Den nächsten lassen wir aus - Eine Seilbrücke zu einem im Meer freistehenden Felsen. Petra bekam dann etwas Bammel als ich ihr erzähle worum es sich handelt. Also eben nicht. Es gibt ohnehin mehr als genug zu sehen.
Der nächste Punkt war dann der Giant Causeway. Wir zahlen jeweils 9 Pfund Eintritt (ca.12 Euro) incl. Parken und Audio Guide (Erklärt alle Punkte des Sightseeing Punktes in deutsch). Das kommt uns fair vor. Und tatsächlich: Es gibt eine Menge zu sehen. 6-Eckige Felsformationen in den unterschiedlichsten Größen bis zu 12 Meter hoch sichtbar. Die Fels-Säulen wirken auf den ersten Blick nicht natürlich. Doch das sind sie. Über Jahrmillionen geformt umgibt sie heute ein interessanter Wander- und Kletterweg. Besonders die "Rote Route" zurück hat es in sich. Zudem zieht sehr starker Wind mit Regen auf. Wir sind froh nach 3 Stunden zurück am Auto zu sein. Kochen fällt aus, MCDonalds ist hier sogar billiger als in Deutschland. (Bislang das Einzige).
Wir folgen weiter dem Navi Richtung Londonberry das ich mir als schöne Küstenstadt notiert hatte.
Und dann waren wir ganz automatisch auf der berühmtesten Straße Irlands: Dem "Wild Atlantic Way". Die Küstenstrasse die über 2600 km von Nord nach Süd Irland führt. Immer an der Atlantik Küste entlang. Hier war dann ein Sightseeing Parkplatz ausgeschildert weil es einen tollen Ausblick gibt. Endlich hört auch der Regen wieder auf. Wir entschließen uns nach einem Osborne Cola ins Bett zu fallen.
Wir sind endlich wieder in einem Euro Land und können Bargeld benutzen. Da Nordirland zu Großbritannien gehört war das bislang nicht so. Auch die Geschwindigkeiten und Entfernungen sind wieder in Kilometern ausgeschildert. Bei unserer Tour haben wir heute Abend die 2000 km geknackt. Öl- und Wasserverbrauch läuft gegen Null. Alles läuft wie geschmiert!Read more
Giant's Causeway, über diesen Küstenabschnitt mit bis zu 24 Meter hohen Basaltsäulen gibt es viele Sagen über die Entstehung. Der Riese Finn Cumhaill war verliebt. Seine Angebetete lebte auf einer Insel vor Schottland, also baute er sich einen steinernen Weg hinüber. Andere erzählen, der Riese Finn wurde vom schottischen Artgenossen Benandonner so provoziert, dass er diesen Damm ins Meer getrieben hat um ihn zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen. Doch der Riese schien ihm zu groß und er flüchtete wieder nach Hause. Dort wollte ihn nun aber der schottische Riese aufsuchen. Aus Angst vor dem großen Riesen, legte sich Finnland in eine Wiege. Benandonner sah das riesige Baby und erschreckte sich. Wenn das Baby schon so groß war, wie groß war dann erst der Vater? Der Schotte flüchtete wieder und zerstörte den Weg.Read more
Unbelievable place, very very strange and mysterious. We were really lucky to be almost the only people there and spent ages taking millions of photos and exploring the stepping stones.
Unbeliveable scenery on the Northern Irish Coast.....
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