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Exploring Northern Ireland - CIE Tours

Exploring Northern Ireland

CIE TOURS - April 17, 2017

After a leisurely ferry ride to Belfast, we were able to settle down at the Europa Hotel right in Belfast. The following morning, we packed up our belongings and journeyed on through the streets of Belfast. Our guide, Ian, and our master driver, Steve, took us through the streets of Belfast sharing the interesting history of Northern Ireland. We made a stop at a mural depicting Northern Ireland’s history and it was quite interesting and moving.

Mural of Northern Ireland's history, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Mural of Northern Ireland’s history, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
After a leisurely ferry ride to Belfast, we were able to settle down at the Europa Hotel right in Belfast. The following morning, we packed up our belongings and journeyed on through the streets of Belfast. Our guide, Ian, and our master driver, Steve, took us through the streets of Belfast sharing the interesting history of Northern Ireland. We made a stop at a mural depicting Northern Ireland’s history and it was quite interesting and moving.

The Giant’s Causeway
From this location, and after a few comfort stops, we finally made our way to the Giant’s Causeway. The Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. There are two perspectives regarding how this amazing section of land way formed. The scientific perspective says the Causeway is the aftermath of volcanic crashing, burning and cooling. It is a 60-million-year-old legacy to lava.

The Irish myth of the Giant’s Causeway involves one great Irish giant, Finn MacCool, whose most fearsome enemies were the Scottish giants. Finn was so angry and determined to get to them that he built a whole causeway across the sea to Scotland. Is this feature of the Northern Ireland landscape a product of geology, or was it created by the Giant Finn? I’d like to think that Finn played a part in the formation of these hexagonal pillars.

The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, UK
The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, UK
Some of our Grand Tour guests enjoying the view at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, UK
Some of our Grand Tour guests enjoying the view at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, UK

The hexagonal stones that make up the causeway
The hexagonal stones that make up the causeway

The weather cooperated so the views of the causeway were ideal. With the sun shining off the water and fields of yellow flowers, it was hard not to get caught up in the Irish Myth of the giant, Finn. This visit is definitely a personal highlight for me.

Now, we are making our way to Derry, or as they call it in Northern Ireland, Londonderry. We are only just beginning our excavation of the Irish coast. Stay tuned to learn more of what we are experiencing on the Grand Tour of Britain and Ireland!

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