Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway

As a former Travel Advisor, Air Force brat, and lifelong wanderer, I am always in search of the world’s hidden gems.

From the day I first saw a photograph of Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, I knew I needed to witness it firsthand — to walk in the Giants’ footsteps! So, in October 2017, I joined a group of fellow travel agents on an educational tour of “Norn Iron” and this World Heritage Site.

The Giant’s Causeway lies on the seacoast at the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland and was caused by volcanic activity some 50 to 60 million years ago. Its unique 40,000 massive, regularly shaped polygonal columns of basalt in horizontal sections create a paved walkway that is truly unique and credited solely to Mother Nature.

Unfortunately, an uninvited guest arrived, intent on thwarting our plans. Hurricane Ophelia had arranged to make landfall the same day. Having travelled all the way from Canada, our little group was devastated to learn that the Visitors Centre had barricaded its doors, and the employees refused to escort us out onto the Causeway. It was just too dangerous!

But Ophelia had underestimated a bunch of hardy Great White North Travelers. There was no chance my companions and I were going to miss this opportunity of a lifetime. The Causeway was one of the highlights of our tour and number one on my Bucket List. Despite grave warnings of being blown away like a paper plane in a wind storm, every one of us donned our rain gear, zipped up our jackets, tied the strings on our head covers, and marched from our warm bus to brave the strong winds to walk in the Giant’s footsteps.

Although the inclement weather was certainly a deterrent, the upside was the other tourists. There weren’t any, and our little contingent had forty-five minutes without nary another human in sight. It was just us and Mother Nature showing off.

I have never seen anything like the Causeway that wasn’t manufactured. The only word I can find to describe it is breathtaking! All my photographs fell short of capturing the magnitude of this place. I felt minuscule and so privileged that I could reach out and touch stones smoothed into a sideway over millions of years for Giants and humans alike.

But as the winds grew stronger and pushed us around on the slippery stones, we took the last of our photographs and headed back to our bus. It was time to run for cover and shelter in our hotel.

During our whirlwind tour of Northern Ireland and a wee bit of the Republic (flying in and out of Dublin), I visited awe-inspiring sites and tours — historic Belfast, the Peace Walls, the Titanic Museum, Dublin’s EPIC (the Irish Emigration Museum), Guinness Storehouse, and much more. But nothing came close to Nature’s double-bill earth and wind power tour. May all my future travels be as amazing.

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