(quote from IBN Batutta)
21st of April in 2018:
InternEurope offered us to join a Tour to Giant’s Causeway. Allen’s Tour arranged this. I get up at half past seven a.m. to prepare some modest lunchboxes. I didn’t have many groceries in the fridge, but there isn’t much space left to store the food. That’s a shame because I didn’t want to spend much money to eat outside ^^‘
*cough the Friday and the next days will be exceptions*.
The meeting point was at InternEurope office at half past 9. At first an attendance check, then we walked to the bus station of Allen’s Tour, get on the bus and paid the charge of £14. The tour guide and bus driver, who was one person, asked us if we wanted to cross the Carrick-a-Rede bridge. Unfortunately, we had to pay an extra of £8. I decided to try it because I thought ‚maybe there might not be an opportunity like that again.‘. Another aspect, which made the day a little bit uncomfortable, was the air conditioning system in our coach. It was broken, and the air was quite muggy by the time. The sunshine, which shone into the bus, didn’t make the situation better but slightly worse.
The first stop was at Carrickfergus Castle. Its history lasts until the last 800 years and built by John de Courcy. In front of the castle, the monument of King Wiliam III is standing there. Time for going to the bathroom, taking pictures or buying coffee or discover the coast.
Back in the bus, we passed Magheramorne Quarry on our way to Giant’s Causeway. Magheramorne is a filming location of the world-famous HBO TV series ‚Game of Thrones‘.
The journey continued by travelling along Antrim coast road, where you could see the Irish sea on the right and Glens of Antrim on the left. Glenarm, famous for its abundant salmon fishing and haunted castle, was another passing point in our tour.
During the journey, the tour guide told us a lot about the history and put us into good humour by doing puns and jokes.
‚How it is possible, that seven kitchens could be in there?
Because of Mr and Mrs Kitchen and their five children.‘
At half-past twelve p.m. we did a lunch stop at a small restaurant named ‚Giant’s Barn‘.
The lunch from Phi, he tried a Giant’s Menu, looked noble because the portion seems quite less for its price. Dome and I wanted to have chocolate brownies, but they were out of them. And they didn’t even have doughnuts. Somehow it was sad.
Next, was the main attraction of this whole day: Giant’s Causeway.
There are two stories about the emergence of it.
-The first one: (according to ireland.com)
Legend has it that Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) – an Irish giant who picked a fight with Scottish big man Benandonner.
-The second one: (according to ireland.com as well)
The 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago.
Today Giant’s Causeway is a Unesco World Heritage since 1986.
What’s so unique about is the setting, which is a spectacular dynamic coastal landscape of Atlantic waves, rugged cliffs and magnificent views (according to a PDF document of InternEurope). The ’near-perfect hexagon tubes are stacked next to each other like puzzle pieces‘.
For me, it was breathtakingly beautiful. To stand there on hexagon-shaped stones, feel the fresh air, smell the salty water and get soppy because of waves. I understand now what it means to have the most significant freedom when you travel across the ocean. The only thing I regret is that we didn’t have enough time to use the path along the cliffs for the overlooking the Causeway coast.
Last but on, was the famous Carrick-a-Rede bridge, which connected to the cliffs (home to a single building – a fisherman’s cottage). Salmon fishermen erected this rope bridge across the Atlantic Ocean in 1755. The bridge suspended almost 100 ft (30 m) above sea level.
I crossed the bridge. Through the wind, the bridge jiggled. And the feeling was thrilling. I imagined that it would tear and fall. *I know, I should stop believe such things, but I wanted to experience an adventure. *. I took some fantastic pictures. The last stop on our Tour was ‚The Dark Hedges‘. ‚The Dark Hedges‘ is an avenue of beech trees. The Stuart family planted them in the 18th century and planned them as an impressive way to the entrance of their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Of course, today besides as another filming location of ‚Game of Thrones‘, knowing as the King’s Road, it is ‚one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland‘ (according to discovernorthernireland.com).
At the end of our tour, we took a picture and got into the coach to travel back. One hour of sleep or honestly dozing (I could hear the whole time the talk between Jenny and Giuliano about Harry Potter, Disney Movies and so on), the bus arrived at half past seven p.m. at the bus station. We planned to have a barbecue, but destiny didn’t mean well for today. We went to Tesco, and a helpful staff member welcomed us with a ‚Sorry, but Tesco will close in five minutes.‘. Yes, Tesco closes on Saturday at eight p.m.. In the end, we went to Monte Carlo, a snack bar for fried food, and had an ‚appetiser‘ there. Then we walked to JDP’s accommodation because Jenny wanted to make ‚Paprikahaehnchen‘. Sadly every one of us, except Son, who is insatiable, was full and didn’t have dinner anymore. Son and I walked home then and felt tired asleep. I have to say it was worth to walk that much that day.
PS: To reconstruct the tour, I used allenbelfastbustours.com and my best friend, Google.