Giants Causeway - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Published: August 9th 2008
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ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA…….. Today the sun decided to shine and finally we can go to the Giants Causeway!

Last night we went to an Italian and both had pizza. Both of us were unable to finish our meal after all we had eaten that day so we decided to take it with us and have it today. Portrush, where we are staying, is a sea-side town full of amusements, slot machines, guesthouses and chippers. The beach stretches for what seems likes miles to another beach called White Rocks. This beach has a ‘blue flag’ and seems to be very popular.

This morning we had a bit of a sleep in until 9 o’clock! Breakfast is included in our stay at the Clarmont Guesthouse. After some very nice scrambled eggs, bacon and toast we were on our way to the Causeway. A small 10 mile journey along the coast road brought us to our destination. A £5 fee for the car park seemed expensive but we soon realised we didn’t have to pay to visit the causeway, so we realised it was actually good value. What we have noticed through out the last few days is that all sites of interest are fairly inexpensive to visit. What we hadn’t realised is that the Causeway isn’t just at the car park but a small hike down hill about 1km away. Immediately you could see the natural beauty of the place and the camera was working overtime! Apparently Fionn McCool built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. In reality it was formed by a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. It was named as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986. The stones are hexagonal in shape and provide stepping stones up and out in to the ocean, until it disappears into the sea. The rock formations are quite spectacular and you could spend hours walking around them. Also at the causeway are a few trails around the cliffs. We walked these to the top and got amazing views of the causeway and the coastline. At one part of the trail it was closed off because of a landslide which had happened a few days previous. This didn’t seem to stop most people so we continued on and finished the trail. We did happen upon the rocks from the landslide and I would not of like to have been there when it happened. It obviously had happened while there was heavy rain the last few days but it was safe (for now!). Back to the car, after a walk of about 3kms, we tucked into the cold pizza from the previous night and it was just what the doctor ordered. As we were leaving the queues for the car park were at least 200 metres long and with no cars moving we were glad we came early.

Next stop was Dunluce Castle which dates back as far as the 16th century. This castle sits right on the cliff edge and must surely of being some sight in its full glory. The castle changed hands many times and is now in the care of the national trust. At one point in its history the kitchen fell into the ocean killing many people. What would health and safety say nowadays! The real highlight of my trip here though was the ‘Wee Cottage’ just outside it. It was time for lunch so we decided to try it out. Inside was a perfect setting. There were two nice couches for people needing to relax and just enough chairs and tables for about 20 people. The place was full of odd bits an pieces, foreign currencies on the wall and a little kitchen in the corner manned by two ladies cooking up a storm. We both had the Mediterranean vegetable soup and a sandwich. The soup was a huge bowl and very tasty. As we sat there eating we noticed the rhubarb tart was doing a great trade and so we had to have some. Afterwards I told the woman the food was great and that I would be back again but not for the castle! This little café was perfect. It wasn’t to big, had lots of interesting things to look at, the service was friendly and the food was great.

With full bellies we thought maybe another walk would do us no harm. We went to white rocks beach, which was full of people braving the Irish weather. Although it wasn’t wet, it wasn’t that warm but people were still swimming. At the beach there is a huge sand hill which people were ‘sand boarding’ down. I only wish I came better prepared and had a go! After a nice stroll down the beach we got in the car and drove. This took us to the town of Colraine. We parked up and had a good look around. It’s a nice town with plenty for shoppers. Michelle though would not shop as she has promised me a fun day of it in Derry tomorrow! I cant wait!

This evening is our last night and our last supper. We have decided to treat ourselves but on second thinking we have ate very well all week. Michelle is in the mood for Chinese after watching the Olympics but its not my favourite so we might have to discuss it. I wonder if there’s a Thai restaurant……….???

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