As mentioned in my last post, I had a great time exploring Ireland with Paddywagon Tours. Everything was a tad better than I expected from a bustour and I totally fell for Ireland in the 5 short days I’ve been there. When a friend and I decided to go to Ireland for NYE, we didn’t really know much about it, besides of the usual stereotypes of beer drinking guys in pubs and lots of green and sheep in the countryside. So we started doing a little research and soon found out that there is a couple of must-sees in Ireland, and since the country is rather small, 5 days were enough to see at least a couple of those. (Although I know now that 5 days were faaaar to short for my taste and that I’ll definitely be back in Ireland within the next two years ) The first thing I put on my „Things to see“ list was the Giant’s Causeway. It has been an official Unesco World Heritage since 1986. Besides of its stunning appearance and the truly breathtaking atmosphere, the Causeway is also famous for the tale that comes with it. This tale we got told by our amazing bus driver John on the ride up to Northern Ireland and the way he told it, as if it was an historical fact and not a legend, really fascinated me. I will give you a short summary of it, but , as I found out now, there is hundreds of different versions around in Ireland and the one that John told us is just one of them. So… If you already heard a different one… Don’t take it amiss. So, here we go: The story goes that an Irish giant named Finn MacCool built the causeway to get to Scotland and combat with a rival giant called Benandonner. When he got there he found that the Scottish giant was asleep but also far bigger than himself, so Finn returned back across the causeway. When the Scottish giant woke up he came across the causeway intent on fighting Finn. Finn’s wife dressed up her husband as a baby and when Benandonner arrived she said Finn wasn’t home and to be quiet not to wake up the baby. When Benandonner saw the baby he decided that if the baby was that big, Finn must be massive. So he turned tail and fled back across the causeway ripping it up as he went. All that remains are the ends, that now form the Giant’s Causeway and on the island of Staffa in Scotland where similar formations are found. The drive from Dublin to the Causeway took us about 4 hours, but we stopped at a few other sights on the way, so it didn’t feel that long at all. On the way we also stopped at the dark hedges, which were, like the Giants Causeway, used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. We also stopped at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, were we were able to walk a swinging rope bridge across a cliff. This one was not included in our tour and to be honest, I wouldn’t do it again. It was definitely less exciting than the pictures I’ve seen promised. We got to the Causeway around 2 pm, and were quite hungry by then. Luckily there was a couple of options at the Causeway visitor center and we filled up on sandwiches and soup and started to walk the long route (approximately 1hour) towards the sight. We also had the option of walking the short route (about 20 minutes) , but since all the other tourists did that, we decided that it would be worth the hike if we get to experience all the beautiful scenery and magical atmosphere without hundreds of fellow travelers. We got to the Causeway when the sun started to set and this made the whole scene even more beautiful. I truly fell in love with this place, so full of magic and wonder and the stone formations really do look like something supernatural. For all those who are really interested in the history, geology and legends… there are audio tours available at the visitors’ center, which are included in the Paddywagon Tour package if you decide to go there with Paddywagon Tours. On the way back to Dublin, we also stopped a couple of times to look at castles (there are SO many all over Ireland) and cliffs, or to have a drink at a famous Pub. We got back to Dublin around 8.30, totally tired but entirely happy. I took so many pictures that day and whenever I show them to one of my friends, they all decide that they want to go see the Giants Causeway as well. I can’t believe until 1,5 month ago I didn’t even know it existed. I really had an amazing time in Northern Ireland, even though, we forgot to exchange our euros into pounds and weren’t able to buy anything in the little pubs and stores on the way. So … if you travel with euros, don’t forget that the currency in Northern Ireland is pounds! 😉 I can’t wait to get back to Ireland in summer. I really want to rent a car for my next visit and just drive around the countryside for a couple of weeks!