The ‘Living List’: The Giant’s Causeway


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I have the week off, and we were determined to do some things, so first on our list was the Giant’s Causeway, located in the County of Antrim, Northern Ireland, but only an hour and half from us.

The weather these past weeks has been wet, lets leave it at that because that is to be expected in Irelan. So when we got up on Monday and saw the rain we were undeterred, if you’re going to see Ireland you have to be prepared whatever the weather. Although Harley wasn’t enamored by the thought of going out in the rain.

By the time we got to the the Giant’s Causeway the weather was, as the Irish would say, ‘wetting rain’, or as the Cornish would say ‘Mizzle.’ That rain that looks like mist but is in fact the type that would soak you to the skin. We were well prepared, despite it being August, we had a thicker jackets on and fleeces in tow.

RD and the Welshies

For those that don’t know, the Giant’s Causeway is a World Heritage Site, made up of basalt columns that rose up from the sea as a result of a volcano millions of years ago. Now that is the scientific version but I prefer the Irish folklore version, which is that Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) an Irish giant, had a severe disagreement with a Scottish giant, Benandonner, and in the end became so enraged he built a causeway down from the mountains and across the sea to Scotland and killed Benandonner. Fionn then settled in Scotland and made his life there. Hence the name, the walkway of giants.

Giant’s Causeway Antrim Northern Ireland Aug 2021

To get to the the causeway you walk a small coastal path past the farm that was owned and run by the Irish ‘Potato Wizard’ John Clarke, who developed and cultivated the Maris Piper potato. There clever buggers the Irish!

Once you arrive at the Giant’s Causeway hotel, perched precariously on the cliff looking over the famous site (I will stay there one day) it’s a kilometre to the Causeway itself. It really is a site to behold and the weather made it all the more atmospheric with the waves crashing down on the rocks.

The Welshie’s loved it. Monday was actually Wiglet’s birthday and we were so grateful that she turned eight, a little older for which we count our blessings. It was funny because the Irish do love their dogs, and there are no Welshie breeders in the Republic at all, the only one that I know of is in the North, so our dogs were attracting as much attention as the Causeway! It’s one of the blessings we count, to walk such beautiful creatures and for the respect that they earn.

Because of my leg I couldn’t climb the Causeway itself, but I could walk on the smaller parts, it truly is amazing as it leads out to sea, but the thing that fascinated me the most was the identical hexagonal columns and I found myself asking ‘why?’

RD did a good job though, and climbed the high rocks whilst watching amazed as other people decided (for God knows what reason) that it would be safe to stand right on the tip of the causeway before it disappears into the sea for photos. The clue is that if the stones are wet then the waves are crashing over them! Doh!

If you look closely you can see the red jacket of the official running down to tell them to move before they are dragged into the sea!

The Welshies loved it, we loved it, despite being soaked and our sandwiches turning into soggy messes as the rain took hold towards the end of the day. On the way home we decided to take the coastal route and had an unexpected ‘wow’ moment as we turned a bend to find this..

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Dunluce Castle

Sadly the pandemic has clearly affected this site, because it is now completely cordoned off because it is unsafe. There were signs of work being carried out on it and hopefully they can save this 14th Century castle for others to see. If you asked me to say off the top of my head what do I love about living here, I would have to say impulsively the scenery and surroundings.

Dunluce Castle August 2021
Dunluce Castle August 2021

We finished the day off with fish of chips (of course we did!) including the Welshies who finished my fish off, followed by a cup of tea, and finally falling into bed at midnight. I think it’s safe to say Wiglet enjoyed her birthday.

More to come..

Rosie

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