Northern Ireland

Below is my blog written August 14:

This trip is going by very quickly, and without wifi, it has been difficult to set aside time to blog. I am writing my blog on my iPad and will upload when I get the chance.

The natural beauty of this country (and of the island as a whole) is undeniable. I love the rolling hills of varying greens, dotted with sheep and cows. Pastures are divided by hedge fences, and the countryside reminds me of a patchwork quilt all in shades of greens and golds.

We visited The Giant’s Causeway.  It is Northern Ireland’s only world heritage site, but it is a fantastic one.  We took a guided tour and learned all about the geology of the unique hexagonal stones, and the Irish legends of the site.  The legend’s were so much more appealing, and what I want to remember.  The Giant’s Causeway was home/is home to a Giant named Finn and his wife named Una.  Finn was challenged to a fight with the Scottish Giant Benandonner, who lives by the water in Scotland.  Finn takes up this challenge and builds the causeway to Scotland (as Giant’s cannot swim).  On arrival in Scotland, Finn  sees Benandonner for the first time and runs home as the Scottish Giant is much bigger than he is.  Una dresses Finn up as a baby, and when Benandonner comes looking for Finn she replied that Finn was away and her baby (aka Finn himself) is sleeping.  Benandonner is so surprised by the size of the baby, and fearful of the size of his father, he leaves for Scotland never to return.  Finn destroys the pathway between the countries and the Giant’s Causeway is all that remains of the path in Ireland, although the same hexagonal shaped rocks are also found somewhere on the coast of Scotland.

We spent the whole afternoon climbing the rocks of the Causeway and exploring all it had to offer.

Our next amazing stop was the Carrick-Rope-Bridge.  This is a rope bridge first built by the salmon fishermen over 350 years ago to connect the mainland to the “Rocky Island”.  It is 20 metres long, and sits about 30 metres above the water.  This was a real place of beauty.  The water here was extremely calm and clear, and the coastline is amazing.  (Not sure how the Cliff’s of Moher can compete).  Our views from the small Island of the shoreline were worth the bounce and sway of the bridge under our feet.

Our last site to explore was Dunluce Castle, a medieval castle perched on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.  It is now in ruins, but I can only imagine what life was like for those who lived inside, high above the waves.

Our time in Northern Ireland has been full of days spent exploring, late dinners, and even later bedtimes!  Add in lots of good times and laughter, a hide-and-seek game that lasted 3 days, an ice-cream farm tour that wasn’t what we expected, and Nathan once again falling into a river.

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