Bucket List Check #6 - A Hike Through Giant's Causeway

One of the main reasons why I wanted to travel to Northern Ireland was to see and photograph Giant's Causeway, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. What is Giant's Causeway? It is an area consisting of about 40,000 basalt columns that are the result of an "ancient volcanic fissure eruption", according to Wikipedia.

It is quite remarkable, and if any geologic feature screams sacred geometry, it's Giant's Causeway. Aside from the sheer beauty of the coast and location off of Northern Ireland, these huge basalt columns all contain five sides.


Upon arriving, and finding parking, you can take a trolley, which I would highly recommend, particularly if the thought of long hikes scare you. Going down to see the columns is not bad..but as you start to make your way going uphill, you start to wish you had made the 1 or 2 pound token investment to take the trolley back uphill. You could opt for a guided tour, but Mike and I were impatient and I wanted to take photographs, so we instead opted for a do-it-yourself tour. Part of our admission ticket included headphones and a recording that takes you through some rather ridiculous stories about how the columns were formed. Nevertheless, it was informative.


As you make your way down from the visitor center, you are inundated with the beautiful lush, green environment, so common in Ireland.

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

That tiny spec of blue on the upper left hand
of the picture is a person!

You will come across a rather rocky beach, which I took the time to climb and set up my tripod to take this self portrait. The wonderful thing about this adventure, was seeing the tiny pools formed from when the tide comes in, where life seems to thrive in a rainbow of colors.
Rock Climbing at Giant's Causeway
Me navigating the rocks trying to pick a good spot for my tripod.
Taking in The Beauty of Giant's Causeway

Watch this short video to get an idea of the sights and sounds of Giants Causeway!

At this point, we hadn't even gotten to the basalt columns yet! After hiking another 1/4 mile or so, we finally reached the columns, where I took this photograph of my husband, Mike, (Mind you, Mike was being rather patient at this point, but I knew my time would be running out soon.)
Mike and Me at Giant's Causeway
A selfie Mike took of us.


Mike at Giant's Causeway
Mike...and a close up view of the tiny pools of algae and moss.


Tidal Pools at Giants Causeway Northern Ireland

Here you can see how large these basalt columns are. People were climbing on the columns, which I recommend if you have good hiking shoes. I did see one brave soul who was navigating the columns with a walker. (I wouldn't recommend that...)
The Basalt Columns at Giants Causeway

As you continue past a large congregation of basalt columns, we came to what we thought was the end. Mike was done and ready to go back...but I spied a hiking trail leading up to this massive area of basalt columns off, and a cliff.
Giant Basalt Columns at Giants Causeway
If you get a magnifying glass out, you can see hikers making their way up to the base of the basalt columns in the middle.

 

It took quite some convincing to get Mike to agree to continue on and take the hike up towards the cliff. He has an extreme aversion to most exercise, and hiking uphill was not particularly high on his list. I knew in his mind, basalt columns ranked up there with geysers in Yellowstone. You see one, you see them all... But I told him I'm was going with or without him. I didn't travel all this way to stop short of some particularly amazing view!

So we started on the rather narrow and steep path. Me, carrying all my camera gear and tripod. Mike, carrying his water bottle. (I was just grateful he decided to join me!)
The pathway up the cliff towards Giants Causeway
The top of the cliff did not disappoint...much. The view up there was spectacular, but the trail ended quite abruptly and we were not able to see the other side of the basalt columns called The Amphitheather, since the trail was closed.  I believe it has been closed for quite some time due to the trail degrading from erosion.

The view from the top of the highest peak Giants Causeway
View from the top of the cliff on the Red Trail overlooking Port Noffer

Hiking down, obviously, was much easier than the way up, but we did stop at a famous point in Giants Causeway called The Giant's Boot, which looks more like a rock formed lounging chair, for two! A nice detour for a break and beautiful view!
Giants Boot at Giants Causeway
Mike and me taking a breather from our hike at Giant's Boot.

Is Giant's Causeway next on your bucket list?


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