[And now back to Ireland! Thanks for letting me run off on a tangent last week.]
After the Rope Bridge we headed to The Giant’s Causeway. Or, if you prefer, the place with the crazy awesome rocks.
The rocks were formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, and the whole area is a World Heritage Sight. Geology, rocks, stones, blah, blah.
For the more fantastical of you: in this area lies the remains of a causeway built by a GIANT. The “true” story has been lost to the winds, but they say that the Scottish giant Benandonner challenged Finn MacCool (cool name) to a fight, and Finn built the causeway so that they could meet and duke it out. When Finn realized how large Benandonner, however, he got wicked cold feet. That’s when his mother (or his wife, depending on who’s telling the story) decided to disguise him as a baby.
In one story Benandonner sees how big the baby is and decides that he doesn’t want to meet the father. In another, the mother (or wife) tricks Benandonner into believing that the child is super strong, which makes Benandonner run away.
Either way, the Scottish giant high-tails it out of there, ripping up the causeway as he flees.
(Now, isn’t that much more entertaining than geology? Just kidding: I like rocks.)
I’m glad that we went to the Causeway with our tour guide, because he had some great advice in regards to The Giant’s Causeway. See, there’s a tourism centre when you first arrive (it’s shaped like a bunch of black stones):
If you go into the Tourism Centre they will charge you to get to the Causeway. I’m not sure if it’s a straight up charge to get into/out of the building, or if they try to charge you by renting guides, but basically they will charge you. I’d have liked to see what kind of souvenirs they had, but I stayed away – just in case.
Bud, our driver/guide, told us to just walk past the building. Once we were at the back of the building we found the road that led down to the Causeway, and all for the low low price of FREE! Can’t argue with that, really.
There’s a shuttle that takes you from the main area down to the rocks and back, but it’ll cost you £1 each way. Kristen and I decided to walk. I may have been a little complain-y because I was tired and I was feeling sick (I remember purchasing tissues on one of our rest stops, for my sinuses which would not calm down – I think I was getting a cold), but walking downhill isn’t that taxing.
On our walk down we saw a couple of the “find ’ems” (my own term) that are in the area. Did you know that Finn MacCool had a camel?
Well, the camel is still there. But if you miss one of these markers you might miss the camel, or not know to look out for it:
Which was our case. We almost walked right past it (it’s about halfway down). You can also find the grandmother and Finn’s chimneys further down. Some of them take a bit of imagination (I still can’t really pick out the grandmother’s hunched back), but the chimneys are pretty straight forward. They say that if the chimneys are smoking it means that Finn’s at home.
Or maybe that there’s going to be another eruption…
Whatever you believe, the Giant’s Causeway is an amazing place to visit. There’s just something about the way the rocks formed, walking along the uneven surfaces, even just standing and sitting. I haven’t seen any other place like this before.
Even though I wasn’t feeling the best while I was there, I was at the Giant’s Causeway, dammit!