By Gabrielle Brooks (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AThe_Giants_Causeway.jpg
Ok, it took a bit longer to write this up than expected ( coughs slightly)……
I must say, the north coast or Ireland has something to offer which you can’t set eyes on anywhere else in the world- YOU CAN STEP INTO THE FOOTSTEPS OF REAL OR NOT SO REAL GIANTS!
Around about 40 000 columns, reminding of a very-long-ago volcanic eruption or (as I true fully believe) a stony bridge created by a giant, Ireland’s first UNESCO world heritage, the Giant’s Causeway- is truly unique.
I highly recommend a visit to the Bushmills distillery which is literally only a short drive away (please don’t drink and drive), especially prior to the incredible impressive but also tiresome walk along the Giants Causeway .Giants are, as it is well-known, gigantic and therefore tracing their steps takes a lot of energy. A good old-fashioned glass of whiskey helps to maintain a good sense for the mad atmosphere at the coastal shore and your inner self will find it easier understand the odd behaviour of Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool) and Scottish giant Benandonner. Benandonner challenged Finn and, in order to get to him, built the causeway. I don’t know if Benandonner tent to stumble over the columns, but on my visit I was incredibly clumsy and I advise you to wear proper shoes.
However, as I just mentioned Bushmill’s, I wonder if the whiskey tasting before my visit to the Causeway, was the reason for my clumsiness….
Anyway… In recent years the Giant’s Causeway has become a much-loved tourist attraction and an inviting visitor centre tells you gladly the rest of Finn’s and Benanandonner’s story.
As we came from Belfast and ended up in County Antrim our next stop (naturally) is the Ulster American Folk Park where the life in Ireland in the 18th and 19th century as well as the immigration are recreated with actors ( who are really nice and talk to you as if they time-travelled to the future . Sometimes they even bake you corn bread)) half a ship (where you can see how dreadful the passage to America must have been for poor immigrants) and loads of houses. The Ulster American Folk Park is truely a wonderful historic experience where (even when it is pouring down) you can follow the story of many Irish immigrants. Don’t forget to get something to eat or drink- be prepared as it really is a journey and to truely enjoy it you must be fuelled.
A very secret hint for you, my devoted travellers, is the town Whitehead (We moved back into the direction of Belfast).