A Day Trip to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

Northern-Ireland-Country-Side

Ireland truly is a beautiful country, especially northern Ireland. I cannot get over just how beautiful the rolling green hills are. Unfortunately it is a bit too cold for me. Here in Ireland I have found that it is rare to see the sun and the sky periodically opens up and drops rain whenever it feels like it. In Texas it would be considered gloomy but here somehow it isn’t.

Carnlough-Ireland

Today we took a tour with Extreme Ireland to the Carrick-a-Rede and Larrybane rope bridge, the Giants Causeway, and the city of Belfast. On our way to the rope bridge we stopped in a small coastal village, Carnlough, to take pictures of the beautiful coast line.

Mountains-of-Northern-Ireland

We spent a good portion of the day driving along with the coast on the right and great green mountains on the left. At one point we drove through a bog area, Glenn Dunn, where our guide informed us there is a national sport called bog snorkeling that anyone can compete in, if you are interested check it out online.

Carrick-A-Rede Bridge Ireland

The first stop of the day was at the Carrick-a-Rede and Larrybane rope bridge. This bridge, originally built by fishers wanting to get onto the island during the fishing season is now a major tourist attraction and no longer used by fishers.

Carrick-A-Rede Bridge Sign

Due to the large amount of tourist visiting the bridge each year the fishers gave up on the bridge and build a new one. The bridge is a bit of a walk from the parking lot, about 15 minutes up and around the mountain but the view is amazing so the walk is hardly noticeable.

Carrick-A-Rede Bridge

As it is a rope bridge it does sway when you walk across it and it does hang over a large rocky drop. However it is very sturdy and I had not problems, I didn’t find it scary at all but there were a few people who were too scared to cross.

About and Abroad Carrick-A-Rede Bridge

I should probably also mention that I am not afraid of heights and my dad was a carpenter so I spend a lot of time running around on rooftops when I was a child. So yea, really not bothered by heights or large drops.

Carrick-A-Rede Bridge Flowers

The next stop, and of course the reason for the day trip to begin with, the Giants Causeway. This too is a bit of a walk from the bus stop and there is more than one way to get there. If you go up the mountain you can look down on the Causeway and a bit farther past the causeway there is a path down to the Giants Causeway itself. I would recommend going up first because on the loop back down you pass a section of intriguing columns in the mountain side. If you go down it takes you straight to the Causeway.

Gaints-Causeway-Coastline

I will say that while the Causeway is intriguing, amazing, and inspiring, it was a bit of a disappointment. I expected it to be a large area, taking up on side of the beach, but really, it’s tiny. I mean yes there is plenty of space to walk and admire but it really only takes up a small section of the beach.

Light-and-Dark-Rocks-Giants-Causeway

Giants-Causeway-Flowers

Giants-Causeway-Rocks

About-and-Abroad-Giants-Causeway

I would go into the details of the Irish myth surrounding the Giants Causeway but it would take to long so you will have to look it up yourself. But basically, a giant named Fin tore the rocks out of the cliffs in an effort to make a path to Scotland to battle another giant.

Northern-Ireland-Coast-Giants-Causeway

Northern-Ireland-Coast-Line

After leaving the Giants Causeway, we drove out 5 minutes to catch a glance of Dunluce Castle which was only inhabited for a few years (if I remember correctly) before a portion of it fell into the ocean and was abandoned. We did not get to go to the castle but from the road, it looked huge. I do not think the images do it justice.

Dunluce-Castle

From there we turned around and drove an hour and a half to Belfast, Ireland. We spent an hour in Belfast walking around. There isn’t much in Belfast other than a huge mall and various old buildings but for the most part it is a modern city.20130810-222456.jpg

A couple things to know about Belfast: One, the titanic was built in Belfast and you can take a tour to learn more if you are interested. Two, Belfast is an area of controversy. It can be dangerous for outsiders to enter Belfast with the constant controversy due to religious differences. Even with our tour group, our guide had to call ahead to make sure it was safe for us to stop there. Luckily today all was well and we got to walk the city.

Belfast-City-Hall

We stopped at the city center and right in front of the city hall, there were these Asian warrior statues. I haven’t a clue why, but they were all painted differently. Some cooler than others.

Painted-Worriers-in-Belfast

Another interesting thing about the worriers is that they all had different designs on the front and back.20130810-223202.jpg

I really liked this tiger one, but I have no idea why the dude was painted red…

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