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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, July 13, 2009

Walking with Giants…

On the north east tip of the Antrim coast you’ll find one of the strangest sights in geology…The Giants Causeway as it is known, is home to thousands of perfectly formed basalt columns and gives way to many legends. The most widely told is that of the giant, Finn MacCool (gotta love that name!) who laid the causeway to reach his lover who lived across the ocean on the island of Staffa in Scotland. There are similar formations on that side as well. Scientifically the story goes how 61 million years ago a series of volcanic eruptions began the process of developing these amazing stone pillars.
It is a place which attracts thousands of tourists every year but the sheer beauty of it stands on its own and is for obvious reasons, a photographers dream….the cliffs surrounding the sight are lush and gorgeous as well and luckily we were there before they started to build a newer, BIGGER visitors center which will probably change the feel if not the look of the place. Anyway, well worth a visit… 
Further on up the road and inland is the city of Derry. On the road signs in the U.K it will say ‘Londonderry’ and after some confusion I asked our driver Eric what gives with the name? He told me what I suspected that it depends which side of the coin you’re on…Catholics call it Derry and Prods call it Londonderry. It has been home to much conflict and in particular of recent when British troops shot dead 13 demonstrators in 1972.  There is such a strong sense of the troubles when you are in and around places like Derry. Murals depicting fallen heroes and the like are seen throughout the town. Unfortunately  I forgot my backup battery so no photos of Derry. The people were very friendly and we had lunch in a cozy old pub. Anyway, save for the Japanese girl who delayed the bus for 45 minutes we arrived back safe in Belfast for a good old pint at the crown Saloon…apparently one of Belfast’ oldest pubs who housed the builders of the Titanic. We also took a stroll through the Europa Hotel which is the most bombed hotel in the world.

1 comment:

Molly said...

The Giants' Causeway is on my list of places to visit before I die. I guess I'd better get cracking!