On our second day in Belfast, we drove up to Carrick-a-Rede and Giant’s Causeway to experience the nature and history of Northern Ireland. A rainbow appeared while we were leaving Belfast which signaled the good weather we were to have that morning while we walked around outside. The drive up took us past countless hills and valleys of endless greenery. Once we reached Carrick-a-Rede, we had to hike up to the rope bridge with a sheer drop off to one side, the whole time passing green hills and the ocean with Scotland looming in the distance. The bridge stretched across to a small outcropping which use to have a fishing outpost on it. However, only four people could cross at once; otherwise, the bridge would have broken.
Then we piled back on the bus and drove a few miles down to Giant’s Causeway. A basalt formation from the eruption of an underwater volcano, Giant’s Causeway is beautiful sight of columns and formations on the coast, which houses Gaelic mythology. Legend says that the giant Finn McCool was challenged to a fight by Banondonner but upon seeing the Scottish giant’s size dressed up as a baby to trick Banondonner that the father was much larger. Banondonner then destroyed the causeway that Finn had built to connect Ireland and Scotland. The idea of a causeway connecting the islands comes from a similar formation across the sea in Scotland. Giant’s Causeway sits right on the water, and the beauty of the entire scene was breathtaking. The picturesque moments are too beautiful to describe.
The experience at Carrick-a-rede and Giant’s Causeway blew everyone away with the astonishing beauty of the Irish coast and countryside. Highlights included seeing three lambs run across a field and an ancient castle that is said to have fallen into the sea during a banquet. ~ Jacob Sloman