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Journey To Giants

By Lisa Collins-Haynes

San Antonio Informer

Over the river and through the woods is what comes to mind on a journey from Dublin, Ireland as you make your way by car to the northeast coastline to visit the Giants Causeway, located near the town on Bushmills.

The scenic route up the Antrim coastline will lead you literally to the end of the world, okay maybe not the world; but it does lead to the end of Ireland at its northern most tip.  The drive is highlighted by quaint villages, ancient castles and the most amazing and breath-taking views of the coast.  There is a strong contrast of deep blue hues of the Irish Sea and the lush green fields of grass that blow in the coastal winds.  Farmhouses are scattered along the hillsides and herds of sheep can be seen merrily grazing.  The seascape offers dramatic cliffs, vistas and lighthouses for remarkable photo opportunities. When the sun peeps out from behind its hiding place, it hits the sea and creates an array of colors that seduces drivers to pull over quickly and grab their cameras.  A few lucky ones are even able to capture glimpses of rainbows as they dart in out of the clouds.

After driving for nearly five hours, may be shorter if you make fewer stops; you’ll reach the Giants Causeway.  Thought to be created by volcanic activity 60 million years ago, it is a series of hexagonal shaped Balsalt rock formations in strategic columns along the sea leading towards Scotland.  It is rare that nature produces such uniform shapes, which is why the Giants Causeway is listed as a World Heritage site and is one of the 7 Wonders of Ireland.

For those unfamiliar with the legend, Irish folklore and mythology has it that an Irish giant named Finn McCool had a rival with another giant in Scotland, named Big Ben.  For a true test of strength and brawn, Finn decided to build a land bridge made of rocks to cross the North Channel into Scotland and meet face to face with his Scottish counterpart.  After completing the bridge, Finn was very tired and built a crib to take a nap in.  When Big Ben arrived, he saw the sleeping “child” and grew frightened.  For if this was the child of Finn’s, “Then how big must Finn be?” he thought.  Big Ben ran all the way back to Scotland, tearing up the bridge behind him so that Finn could not follow.

Whether you believe the legend or not, the Giants Causeway is one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland and is just one of many reasons to visit the Emerald Isle.  Additional points of interest to mention are the Carrickfergus and Dunseverick Castles, the Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge and the city of Belfast.

Reminder: When driving in Ireland, stay to the left hand side of the road.

Lisa Collins-Haynes

Lisa Collins-Haynes is married and the mother of one daughter. She is currently working as a Freelance Travel Journalist and has had several articles published.  Lisa is a self-professed out of control travel spirit (O.C.T.S) and she invites everyone to follow her new travel blog at www.octsblogger.wordpress.com.

 

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