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Leg 4: The Giant’s Causeway 02/01/2010

Posted by Jenn in Uncategorized.
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Hello folks! Bet you didn’t expect another one of THESE so soon! But I am starting to fall behind, and I know that once I fall behind, there will be no catching up. So…here’s Wednesday!

Last Wednesday (I had no class that day), I got a call from some of the other American students who said they were going to go to Giant’s Causeway. “Yippee!” said I, until I looked out the window. Rainy. Cold. Overcast. Ick.

“You’re SURE!?” I asked Amanda. She said that if the weather worsened, we’d call off the trip. But since that’s not what happened, let’s skip ahead some…to the bus!

Yes, there is a bus from my town (Coleraine) to Giant’s Causeway, so that is the one that we hopped. “We” in this case refers to me and about eight other people, seven of whom were American (and one of whom is North Irish, lol.) I will go into names as they appear in the photographs!

Lauren, Leah, and Amanda with Otto

Lauren, Leah, and Amanda (in that order from L to R) hold Otto on the thirty minute bus-ride to the Giant's Causeway. (Well, they didn't hold him the WHOLE time, but you get the idea, right?)

So we got off the bus and immediately got to walking, because that’s what you DO when you’re at the Giant’s Causeway. You walk. First from the bus stop to the Visitor’s Center, then down the big hill to the Causeway itself.

But before that big hill, brief detour at a RED TELEPHONE BOX!

Me and Otto in front of a red telephone box.

OMG RED TELEPHONE BOX! Did not go inside, though, as Anto warned that they're often used more as urinals than telephone boxes. Good to know!

But though it was cold and windy that day, it did still have some magnificent scenery going down the big hill!

Otto and the Sea.

Otto in front of a gorgeous stretch of coastline.

Same bit, but without Otto.

Same as above, this time sans octopus. ^_^! STILL pretty.

And the way down did afford some great opportunities for group pictures!

Group Photo on the way to the Causeway.

Here is our group! From L to R: Jenni, Sierra, Leah, Tescia, Lauren, Austin (in the back a little), Amanda, and me! (Anto was the one holding the camera, but you will see him later, don't worry. He is also the only one of us FROM Northern Ireland, so...yeah.) ^_^! Also, photo by Anto, camera by Amanda--this is one I didn't take.

And then we got to the Causeway itself! Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the Causeway, let me give you a little bit of background information. At the tippy-top of Northern Ireland, there exists a strange configuration of volcanic rocks. If you look at them, they are nearly all of them almost perfectly hexagonal in shape. This is a COMPLETELY NATURAL OCCURRENCE, which is why the Giant’s Causeway is one of the wonders of the natural world.

But you don’t want to hear THAT, do you? Nope: let’s bring on the Irish legend side of the story. Legend has it that Finn McCool, the most famous Irish giant, was having a tiff with a giant from across the way in Scotland (even though he had never met him). To better antagonize the far-away giant, Finn started building a Causeway to get from Ireland to Scotland, so he could meet the giant face to face.

Unfortunately, the closer he got, the bigger the Scottish giant appeared, until Finn was quite sure he never, EVER wanted to meet the guy in person. So to save face, he hatched a cunning plan (so cunning you could slap a tail on it and call it a weasel!) to get the Scottish giant to leave him alone FOREVER. He dressed up like a baby and pretended to sleep…weird, yes, but listen to the rest! When the Scottish giant made it across and demanded to see Finn, his wife (or girlfriend, I’m not sure) said he’d be along in a minute, but in the meantime, could he keep it down? He’s going to wake Finn’s baby.

Now, upon seeing the GIANT baby, the Scottish giant could only imagine what FINN actually looked like, and decided he DEFINITELY didn’t want to meet the father of that massive baby. So the Scottish giant hoofed it back to Scotland, ripping up the Causeway all the way across, so that only that little bit remained. The end! That’s how we get the name “Giant’s Causeway”. And it’s a pretty impressive sight!

Otto and the Causeway.

Otto's up front and center here, but if you look behind him you can see hundreds and hundreds of basalt columns that make up the Giant's Causeway.

Otto down on the rocks.

Otto down on the columns themselves. See the shape? Six sides!

Otto and I on the rocks.

Here's Otto and I up on the big crop of columns!

And here’s the cool part: it even got sunny for about thirty seconds. Oh. Yeah.

Otto in DAYLIGHT at Giant's Causeway.

"Leeeeeeeeeet the sun shine...leeeeeeeeet the sunshine in..." Otto against the rocks sometime during the all-too-brief parting of the clouds.

So, that was nice! And then after that we sort of split into two groups, one that went up the huge hill up to the basalt columns in the mountain…and the other that stayed on the level ground and took pictures at the Giant’s Boot. Guess which camp I was in?

Aww yeah...serious boot.

Aww yeah...some serious boot right there. ^_^!

What? It was cold, I was wearing the wrong shoes, and I’m kind of a lazy kid to begin with! And I have a heights thing. There, I think I’ve covered all of my bases on the “making excuses” front. Anyway…

Here’s some quick candids before I conclude:

Oooh.

Oooh.

Ahhhh

Ahhhh.

Anto

Anto. (With Otto.)

So after that, we all headed back up to the visitor’s center (in two groups, obviously, since one group went up the hill) and we JUST made it in time for the bus back to Coleraine. Victory! ^_^!

We ate at this tasty place called Wetherspoon’s, and I’m fairly certain we got heckled a little by some old Irish men as we walked in the pub (you know, the group of eight Americans and one Irish guy?) but it was all good, especially the food! I had Bacon Carbonara Pasta, but I lack pictures of it, because I started eating it pretty much immediately, and by the time I thought to whip out a camera, I had already inhaled about half of it. Yeah. Good times.

Well, to wrap up my Wednesday, that evening I went up to Old Mill Grange for a birthday party for Andrew (who is called Baldy by many of the people I know, even though he is not, in fact, bald. Puzzling stuff!) That was a pretty good time as well! I met some fun new people, and a police-woman stripper came and hit him with a belt! Good times! ^_^! Alas, I lack pictures from THAT as well, something I’m sure Andrew will thank me for.

Me and Jessica

POLICE-WOMAN STRIPPER! No, just kidding! Here's me and Jessica at Andrew a.k.a. Baldy's birthday party. Otto couldn't fit in my coat pocket, unfortunately. And this is another shot not done by me, obviously.

After that, it was home (and NOT Kelly’s, though I am told I missed a kicking good time by going home to sleep rather than finish the party at the famed nightclub) and there was much Internet and much sleep, for Thursday morning I had ANOTHER 9am class. That’s TWO 9:15 classes I have this semester! :P *sigh* Oh well. At least I’ve got the bus system worked out!

And that is the Causeway, in a huge-ish nutshell. Keep tuning in for the continuing adventures of Admiral Otto! (And of course his erstwhile handler, Jennifer. ^_^) Toodles for now!

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Comments»

1. Susan - 02/01/2010

Hi Jenn! Even though WVU lacks a bar, Davis and Elkins College has a bar, the Icehouse, on campus. Yes, a Presbyterian affiliated school has a campus bar. ;)

2. Sami - 02/03/2010

Every Leg, I get more and more jealous. :P Seems like you’re having an amazing time though!!! :D

3. jennloveschicken - 02/07/2010

Susan – BWA HA HA HA HA! Did not know that! How intriguing! You know, I think the WVWC campus would benefit heavily from a bar…both monetarily and because of the awesome factor, lol.

Sami – Yaay! It’s been super fun so far! I am having an amazing time! How have you been?


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