Giants Causeway

 

 

 

Ireland has always been home to many natural wonders including the Aurora Borelis, the land of The Burren and the countless rainbows that seem to form out of nowhere and fill the entire sky in colors.

Another feather added to this already brimming hat is the Giant’s Causeway, located off the coast of Antrim in Northern Ireland. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the place has also earned the title of Nature’s Reserve over the years.

One of the most visited sites of Ireland, the site is home to numerous basalt columns which look as if they protrude from the sea and stand like a fortress, protecting the coast and its surrounding areas from the violent Atlantic Sea. These huge boulders and rocks are said to have formed as a result of volcanic activity in the region that caused molten lava to arise from under the ground. As the lava came in contact with the icy cold waters, they solidified and contracted to form the huge pillars and shores.

 

What’s so special about the place, you ask? Well, you will actually have to visit it to take in the complete splendor of the rugged coast and its surrounding regions. The huge pillars that rise from the water look as if they might have been made by man instead of nature.

The symmetry of the pillars is near perfect, and the cracked gravel floor looks as if you might be standing in an area that has not seen even a drop of water for centuries. However, the path leads right into the ocean and you wonder at the stark contrast of the two elements.

Getting There:-

The best way to reach Giant’s Causeway is through the road. Buses, coaches and private taxis can take you to the site from the nearby towns of Bushmills, Antrim Glens and Belfast. Ulster buses are also available with special features for disabled passengers and a local bus called the Causeway Coaster Minibus takes travelers from the visitor center to the site and back.

Cycling can also be a good way to course around the site if you are willing to travel all of 3 km of the area and the surrounding regions.

Trains can take you till the stations of Portrush and Coleraine which are located at a distance of 8 and 10 miles respectively from the site. Alternatively, you can catch a flight that lands at Belfast International Airport. Either way sees you making the final part of the journey on road.

Origin:- There have been numerous stories related to the formation of these pillars. According to local folk lore, the rocks were created by the giant FinnMcCool whose super human strength was the reason for the formation of the Isle of Man (story goes that he threw a massive boulder into the sea to frighten away intruders) and the Lough Neagh (water surrounding the Isle).

Scientific research provides a more logical explanation. According to various studies conducted in the region, the County of Antrim suffered severe damages due to violent volcanic activity nearly 60 million years ago. This caused molten lava to rise up from the ground through small cracks. The entire area became a massive ground covered with lava which started cooling fast.

The speed with which the lava cooled determined the nature of the terrain in that particular place. As and when the lava started cooling, the basalt content in the lava started contracting. Contraction was observed to occur in both vertical and horizontal directions. While vertically contracted basalt formed the cracked floor bed, intensive cooling and contraction in the horizontal direction was responsible for the numerous basalt pillars that we see today.

 

What we can see today:- The entire region is seen to resemble a rugged mountain side with numerous columns arranged closely together. There are nearly 40000 pillars and some are as high as 40 feet. Almost all of these pillars have hexagonal faces and some come with lesser number of sides. The thickness of the contracted lava on the top of these pillars is touted to be about 90 feet. Blog sobre gatos

Visitors are allowed to walk around the area and it is possible to see these rocks resemble massive structures. For example; in one area, erosion and weathering has caused the rock to look like an organ. Another rock resembles a boot like structure and is called “The Giant’s Boots”.

Smaller columns which are covered with reddish sediments form what are called “The Giant’s Eyes”. In addition to these, it is also possible to spot among other resemblances, “The Honeycomb”, “The Chimney Stack”, “The Shepherd’s Eyes”, “The Giant’s Granny”, “The Giant’s Harp”, “The Camels Hump”, “The Wishing Well”, “The King and His Nobles” and “The Giant’s Gate”.

Further down the coast, you will come across a rope bridge called “Carrick – a- rede” which connects the coast to a small fishing island. There is a deep gorge (nearly 80 feet) in between and the mere task of crossing the bridge to get to the other side is enough to send shivers down your spine.

In addition to the natural wonder of almost 40000 of these massive basalt columns, the area is also a haven for various plants and animals alike. It is possible to spot a variety of sea birds like the redshank, the razorbill, fulmar, cormorant and petrel; while some really rare plants grow in between small cracks in the floor bed. These include sea fescues, sea spleenworts, vernal squills, frog orchids and hare’s foot trefoils.

Extra Services at the Site:- The site has a Visitor Center which caters to your  questions and needs. Among the various facilities, you will be able to find Tea Rooms, a National Trust Shop, a currency exchange bureau, a souvenir shop, options to book accommodation in the nearby hotels and Tourist Information Offices.

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  • Giants Causeway

    Giants Causeway

    Ireland has always been home to many natural wonders including the Aurora Borelis, the land of The Burren and the countless rainbows that seem to form out of n

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    2024-04-02

     

    Giants Causeway
    Giants Causeway

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