Photography, Travel

The Giant’s Causeway

When lava cools rapidly, it creates a dark gray rock called basalt. In some places around the world, ancient volcanic activity led to basalt in perfect hexagonal columns. One of those places is on the North Atlantic coast of Northern Ireland, a place called The Giant’s Causeway.

The Giant's Causeway

It’s thought that volcanic activity here more than 50 million years ago formed this basalt. But ancient Irish legend holds that a giant named Fionn MacCool, when challenged to a fight with a Scottish giant, built this causeway so that the two giants could meet and battle.

The Giant's Causeway

The Causeway became known to the world in the late 1600s, and became a tourist destination during the 19th century. On the unusually sunny and warm September day on which we visited, hundreds of others climbed the columns with us. I hear it’s pretty much always busy, as one of the leading tourist destinations in Northern Ireland.

The Giant's Causeway

Oh, let’s switch to color, shall we? Because the ocean is startlingly blue here.

Giant's Causeway

Really, the views are all breathtaking, starting with the long trail back toward the columns.

Giant's Causeway

Margaret and I were prepared for a long hike, but not for a 75-degree day. We were dressed for the typical overcast and chilly September weather in Ireland. We got pretty sticky.

Giant's Causeway

A warning, if you visit: you can go all the way up to the top of the cliffs, but to get there involves a lot of walking and some heavy stairs. My iPhone tells me I walked 19,039 steps and climbed 42 flights of stairs on this day (but to be fair, this was also the day we visited Carrick-a-Rede Island).

Giant's Causeway

But the views from up there are worth it! You can see for miles from up there — all the way to Scotland.

Giant's Causeway

But even if you stay at ground level, the scenery never disappoints.

Giant's Causeway

The views almost edge out the basalt columns as the star of the show. Almost.

Giant's Causeway

Canon PowerShot S95 and Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak T-Max 400.


5 thoughts on “The Giant’s Causeway

  1. Michael McNeill says:

    Great shots and great words, Jim. You captured The Stones well. It’s a place that I know well, of course, and it is always interesting to see what others make of it. My favourite is the long&winding road with the people walking – it shows the scale of the place really well. That and the B&W ones…but thats just me :)


  2. Pingback: Always meet a fellow blogger when you get the chance | Down the Road

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