We are so lucky to live close to such beautiful natural attractions here in N. Ireland and i’m determined “A” will get to see and explore them just the way I did when I was little. One of the most beautiful places anywhere in the world in my opinion is The Giants Causeway on the north coast. It is about 15 minutes drive from where I grew up and where my family still live. So during our recent weekly trip to “Nannie & Grandas” We decided to head to the Causeway for “A’s” first trip to the stones!! If you have never heard of the causeway … shame on you.. no only joking the Giants Causeway is area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns of stone, created by the now dormant thank goodness volcanos millions of years ago. Its the most beautiful place I think i have ever been/ ever will visit. (Don’t let my rubbish photography skills put you off it really is gorgeous).
There is the myth that the causeway was built by a giant “Finn MacCool” the myth goes that Finn was challenged to a fight by a Scottish giant Benandonner and built the causeway to get to him. There are a couple versions of how the story pans out! In one Finn defeats Benandonner. In another, Finn hides from Benandonner when he sees that Benandonner is much bigger than him. He does this by getting his wife, Úna to disguise him as a baby and tuck him into a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the ‘baby’, he reckons that its father, Finn, must be a giant among giants. He fleed back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Finn could not follow. If you crossed the sea from the causeway here to Scotland you would arrive at identical basalt columns which were created by the same ancient lava flow. They are at Fingal’s Cave on Scottish isle of Staffa, just incase your wondering.
So now the history lesson is over 🙂 here’s a little about our day! It was kinda cold! I don’t think i’ve ever been to the causeway when Its not been cold. We’ve even been on Christmas Day for a snowy afternoon walk ( Yes our family loves the causeway, mum especially) So we wrapped “A” up made sure we had the win/raincover for pram and put sensible shoes on 😉 and set off. (I am sorry my pictures aren’t up to much this week they were all taken on the trusty mobile phone 😦 )
First of all there is a brand spanking new visitors centre which is fab. Alot of people have complained that you have to pay to get in as its a national trust centre but I think the money is worth it about £8.00 I think. The centre has lots for little ones to do, interactive films of “Finn MacCool”, 3d pictures of the causeway over 100 years ago and the few individuals who lived around it, fishermen etc (really interesting) They have great displays about volcanos and lava. The little ones that were there seemed to be having a ball, it really is great interactive wise and a good way to get their imaginations going when they can see the giant on a big screen in front of them.
The thing i loved the most was the brass rubbing plates. They are engravings of the pictures painted by Susanna Drury’s in the 1800’s at the causeway. There are charcoals and paper and you can do as many as you like. Both adults and kids were having a try and they seemed a hit with the tourists especially, nice free keepsake too if you don’t want to shell out in the gift shop.
“A” was too small to do any of the things really but the visuals were great for her. As she takes everything in! The facilities were great too they had good mummy and baby changing as everything is shiny and new. The paths are all wide enough for buggys/wheelchairs and there were a lot of families with little ones which was great to see. There is a bus shuttle service to the stones and back to as its quite a trek but we were feeling energetic so we walked up and down though i made my sister push her up the hill! It’s an aunties life alright 🙂 .
There is so much to take in from gorgeous wild flowers to red volcanic rock. if your really observant you might even spot a porpoise dolphin or a seal in the sea, if its calm enough to see them that is. “A” did have a good nosy around her but she’s still little so it’s not like she’s really going to remember much. I just love getting her out and about in the fresh air encouraging her to take in everything. I am sure this won’t be the last she’ll see of the stones as we say. Maybe next time we visit it’ll be snowing again 🙂