I'm 'Down' with the Causeway!

Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
Trip End Mar 24, 2011

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Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Sunday, October 24, 2010

We left Derry this morning and headed along the north coast of Ireland to see some of the prettiest coastal scenery so far.  We drove through beautiful resort towns and along pristine beaches as well as passing some of the best golf courses in the country (such as Portstewart). 

The highlight of this day was spending time at the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim.  This was such a cool place to explore.  There are blocks of basalt standing upright along the rocky coastline that look like large stepping stones.  The dry, boring scientific explanation outlines volcanic activity pushing up the basalt columns - blah, blah, blah.  The much more entertaining myth is that the Irish giant Finn McCool built the stone causeway from Ireland to Scotland to battle his rival, Scottish giant, Benandonner.  When Finn saw Benandonner, he became a bit anxious about winning the battle so he came back to Ireland and his wife hid him under a blanket wearing a baby bonnet.  When Benandonner came to find Finn, he saw the gigantic baby in Finn's house and thought, 'if Finn's baby is this huge, how big is Finn himself?' and ran back to Scotland, ripping up the causeway behind him so that Finn could not come after him.

It was fun to climb around the rocks and columns for an hour or so, appreciating the formations and the view of Scotland across the water!

We travelled on to Belfast for lunch and had a quick bite and a quicker city tour before taking the high road back to Dublin for the night's organized meal and entertainment.  Belfast is apparently a much more modern city than Derry and some of the others we have been to and it is also where the Titanic was built.

Back in Dublin, we quickly checked into the busy Burlington Hotel - it was hopping when we got there at suppertime - tomorrow is a bank holiday in Ireland and the Dublin Marathon is happening in the city so there were lots of people about. 

We were driven to the Abbey Tavern outside of Dublin (in Howth I think) for an organized traditional Irish meal and live entertainment.  Despite the heating being out in the room initially, we warmed up both literally and figuratively in a short time as the Irish coffees and Guinnesses were passed around.  I had my first taste of Guinness (and don't hate me beer drinkers) but it tasted like any other beer to me (obviously I do not have a refined palate :)   A trio of musicians played some traditional tunes and they had a Riverdance dancer show us his flying feet during a couple of numbers too.  I'm amazed those Irish dancers don't end up kicking their own behinds with the leaping and flailing but it sure is enjoyable to watch!  It was a fun night and a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the friends we made on the tour. 
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Lisa Sutherland on

I HATE YOU!!!!! Just kidding....I'm just envious!!! Soooooo Envious!!!! Glad to see you are having such a great time!!!

MaryEllen on

Those are the rocks I used as an example of tesselations in math class not long ago... too cool!

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