The locals here tell us that if we’re responsible for this rare stretch of clear, warm weather, “please stay!” Today, the skies continued to promise sun – just perfect for our planned trip to Giant’s Causeway. On the tip of Northern Ireland, the Causeway is a stretch of dramatic, craggy shoreline juxtaposing peaceful cow pastures. Its plunging cliffs and unique rock formations have categorized it a UNESCO world heritage site.
Joining the international students was Micky Quagg, probably your stereotypical image of an Irishman. Micky is the VP of Academic Affairs at Ulster and he is, as the saying here goes, “full of beans.” If you’re familiar with Lord of the Rings, you’d find him very much like Pippin. Pale as milk and red-headed, Micky’s accent is as thick as they come. He told us that even his Irish friends have to ask him to slow down his speech (glad it wasn’t just me!) He was lots of fun, bantering with us and pretending to push me off the cliff…all in good craic, of course.
The bus ride up to the site was a great time to get to know the other students. I was so happy to meet one of the new girls in the group, Kristen, a Canadian masters student who is also living off campus. We clicked immediately. She’s 24 and staying the whole year as well. It looks like we’ll definitely be travel buddies. She wants to hit Croatia, Belgium and Scandanavia and anywhere else she can. She’s just the type to motivate and encourage me to get out there and have adventures!
At Giant’s Causeway, we traveled down steep paths along the shoreline, gazing in wonder at the breathtaking sites before us. We actually got to walk on the rock formations and climb the cliffs. I tried not to look down…but what a rewarding feeling to have mastered the steep, gravelly crag and see for miles around! On the way down, the path was much easier, as we were aided by the plushy Irish grass. You really feel as though you’re walking on pillows.
After the Causeway, we went to the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge. The bridge was short, but being so high up over the cliffs and water below was somewhat frightening. Plus, there was wind. But, again, we did it and we we enjoyed it!
If you make it up to Northern Ireland, definitely visit the Causeway. Admission is free! Summer will ensure better weather, but the ocean gets fierce and stormy in winter (worth seeing as well.)
Well, I probably walked 10 miles today, so I’m pretty tired. The bus’ hours are shorter on the weekends, so I walked to and from school plus the walking at the causeway…so I’m going to sign out. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post! Cheers!