Any great and impressive place comes with a story. So does the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. If you are visiting Dublin, in Ireland, this place can be a one-day trip from Dublin. So, what is the story of the Giant’s Causeway?
The place looks as if someone has sculpted all the columns and stones and then arranged everything so that people will come and be amazed by this gigantic work of art. Is it human-made or is nature playing with us?
How to get to Giant’s Causeway
If you’re in Ireland and looking for things to do, then you’ll most likely find out about a day trip to Giant’s Causeway.
I visited Giant’s Causeway on a day trip from Dublin, and it was perfect.
If you’re already in Belfast, then choose a full-day trip with a guided tour from Belfast.
The story of Giant’s Causeway
As the name says, Giant’s Causeway (causeway means bridge), the site full of columns, is what’s left of the bridge built by giants. But what is left today from that bridge is because of a legendary giant named Finn MacCool.
He built the causeway when he accepted to fight with another giant, Benandonner, from across the North Channel. That was the only way for them to meet and fight each other.
After he builds the causeway, he reaches Scotland and realises his opponent is bigger than he. He decides to run back home and hide. Finn’s wife has the idea of disguising him as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. Then Benandonner comes to meet Finn and fight, and his wife tells him he is not home.
She says she is alone at home with the baby. Benandonner searches the house, and when he sees the baby, and size of him, he is frightened, reckoning that his father must be a giant among all giants. Benandonner runs back to Scotland and destroys the causeway behind him so that Finn could never follow.
Across the sea are identical columns, which makes the story true for those who decide to believe it.
The scientific story of the Giant’s Causeway
A long time ago, about 50 million years ago, the area had intense volcanic activity, and the resulting basaltic lava covered the surface of the earth. And then the lava began to contract and to fracture. The size of the columns was determined by the speed by which the lava cooled.
The columns are fractured horizontally, just like a stack of hexagonal stone pieces. At least, that is what it looks like. So basically, science says it is a massive pile of a cooled and fractured network of ancient lava.
Now, it’s up to you to choose which story to believe.
My story of the trip to Giant’s Causeway
I went there when I was in Dublin and took a 1-day trip to Northern Ireland from an agency from Dublin. Ireland is a small country, and there are many 1-day trips that you can take everywhere in the country, from Dublin, and even to Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK).
By the way, after visiting Dublin twice, I have to say there is much more to Dublin than bars.
It was a long trip, and by the time we got to the Giant’s Causeway, it started raining.
The Irish weather: not pouring rain, but enough to get you wet and annoyed.
The place was full of tourists. There is a tourist centre, which has a museum of the Giant’s Causeway, a souvenir shop and a cafeteria.
From the Visitor Center, it’s a 30-minute walk to the actual site. You can walk along the bay or take the small bus provided, which was full of seniors when I was there. If the weather is nice, there is no need to bother with that.
The place is so amazing and the walk is short. If you decide to be lazy and take the bus, you have to pay for it 2.5 pounds (yes, British money – in 2016). You can pay in euros, too.
Take care when you step on the stones.
It can be slippery, and there were many cases of people who fell into the water and needed special help to get out, so try to watch your step and don’t ruin your holiday!
If you look outside, the place looks like in the middle of nowhere, and if the weather is rainy and foggy, you just might feel like the end of the world is coming.
The Giant’s Causeway is one magical place, where you will forget about the crazy world we live in, as if the only people on this Earth are the few people wandering around.
As you stand to look at the immensity of the sea in front of you, you feel important and yet small, both at the same time.
Just you and the Mother Nature. Add in the rain, and everything gets more dramatic. I wouldn’t change one thing about the Giant’s Causeway.
On the way to the Giant’s Causeway, you pass through Belfast, and as part of the day trip from Dublin, we even stopped there for a while, just enough to grab some coffee and take a few pics. If you have more time to visit this iconic city, make sure to check out this 48 hours itinerary to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.