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The Giant’s Causeway…part III

 

Pillers 12 meters high

In mid-November Live Rural NL author, Christopher Mitchelmore spent two weeks on vacation with some time in Ireland exploring Irish roots.  The Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent space to spend the day. I recommend to plan ahead and bring a snack to have a picnic by the sea.          
 

Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the background

 
Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the backgroundthe hillside green and beautiful orange glow, takes me back to a simpler time – a time when nature ruled and development was from human interference was far away.

A lonely walker on the trail at sunset

We stayed almost until sunset, climbing to the top to get a great aerial view of the 37,000 basalt columns.

 

The View from Above

Upon reaching our car, we decided to stop by a coffee shop in a small neighbouring village before driving to Dublin, Ireland to meet Marcel. The Giant’s Causeway has been a big highlight of my last European vacation.

Find your highlight here –

Live Rural NL 0 Christopher Mitchelmore 

 

Giant’s Causeway…Part Two

The three amigos by the basalt pillars

 The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder formed millions of years ago. The image to the left illustrates the sheer height of some of the pillars.

David, myself and Tobias look quite miniscule in comparison. We pretended to blend in and be part of the causeway.

An up close view of the basalt pillars at the Giant’s Causeway.

 We have been to the edge….and back! The formations combined with the powerful waves presented a very unique feeling of experiencing a natural wonder.

 The crashing waves.

The image to the left shows Tobias “The Navigator”  jumping ahead while I use the opportunity to take some more photos.

I probably took 300+ pictures at the Giant’s Causeway. Certainly enough to make our fourth friend, Marcel jealous for missing it. Sorry Marcel.

I am quite familiar with WORLD UNESCO HERITAGE SITES as I live in between two on the Great Northern Peninsula, that is L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site (the site of the Norse, who re-discovered North American more than 1,000 years ago) and The Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park. This comment reminds me of one Sarah Palin made during her 2008 ticket for vice-present when McCain claimed she was an expert in foreign policy. She backed this statement by noting Canada was next to Alaska and that she practically could see Russia from her window.

On a serious note, the Tableland experience near the Discovery Center, between Woody Point and Trout River, NL provided a similar feeling of awe.  I participated in a guided tour and walked the trail during the summer with my friend Benoit (who I also met while studying at the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic). Parks Canada has done a fabulous job!

Newfoundland and Ireland have many connections. World UNESCO Heritage Sites are another link.

I’ll post some additional photos of the Causeway.  The farther I walked the more I loved taking it all in, just like Gros Morne National Park.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

The Giant’s Causeway…

The Giant’s Causeway was declared a World UNESCO Heritage Site. It is a scenic wonder of almost 40,000 basalt pillars that are a result of an ancient volcanic reaction.

The National Trust manages the Giant's Causeway

We were fortunate to miss out on this wonder the day prior, as it rained early evening. During our visit Friday afternoon we were greeted with many rays of sunshine.

The walk to the Causeway

We opted to walk to the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, versus take the trolley bus.

Looking back...

As we look back we see some fisher people in their little outboard boat.

A boat out to sea

The walked was certainly worth seeing the thousands of hexagonal pillars ranging in varying heights.

Part of the Giant's Causeway

We spent awhile admiring the nature’s beauty. Stay tuned for additional posts relating to the Giant’s Causeway.

It is a must see in Northern Ireland!

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

In & Around Belfast City, Northern Ireland

When I think of my two visits to Belfast I often re-call and probably sang more than I should have the lyrics of Black Velvet Band:

City Center, Belfast

Her eyes they shone like the diamonds You’d think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band.
In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed to trade I was bound
And many an hour’s sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town.
Till bad misfortune came o’er me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band.

Opera House

 We arrived in Belfast late Thursday night, checked-in and found a grand pub to get some really good grub. They even had a fire lit and a Celtic musician playing some tunes for the patrons. We had a couple of beers at the pub before calling it a night.

Belfast Christmas Market at City Center

An early morning led us to the City Center, where we decided we would do some shopping.

The City Center boasts excellent shopping. I remember in December 2007, touring the booths at the Christmas market. In 2010, during mid-November they were just getting set-up outside of the City Hall Building. I managed to purchase a jacket and lots of clothing, as well as a couple of sweaters for my sister as a Christmas present.

The Crown Bar

 
Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the second largest city of the island of Ireland. It has significant infrastructure and an inviting waterfront. We enjoyed a healthy lunch before taking a ride in the Hyundai Getz to the North to see the Giant’s Causeway.
 
We had a tight schedule as we had to arrive in Dublin later Friday night as we were meeting our final friend joining us for the vacation.
 
I enjoy the countryside of Ireland immensely. It reminds me of the beautiful scenery that is comparable in rural Newfoundland. However, there
are some vast differences as well, including the unique trees at roadside.

Trees at roadside to Giant's Causeway

 
Combining urban and rural regions while on vacation can really create a unique travel experience.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 
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