On February 7th we went on a trip to Northern Ireland. On the trip we visited Belfast and Derry and learned more about the conflicts that have occurred in Northern Ireland. In Derry the tour guide proudly told us that there has been peace in Northern Ireland for the past 15 years. We were also able to visit the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, which I successfully walked across without falling in the water. Luckily the bridge is only 20 meters long, so I was safely back on solid ground quickly. I joined the trip Friday evening since I had class during the day, so sadly I was not able to take a full tour of Belfast. I hope that I can travel to Belfast again at a later point during my semester abroad, so that I can see the peace wall.
My favorite place that we visited was Giant’s Causeway. This famous Irish landmark was created over the course of sixty million years from the earth’s movement and volcanic eruptions. Many different legends have alluded to the belief that the Causeway was carved by a giant named Finn McCool who intended to use this rock formation to walk to Scotland to fight his enemy Benandonner. Clues supporting this myth, such as the giant’s boot, the wishing chair and the organ, can be seen in the rock formation. The locals have told this legend for many years and the Causeway continues to be one of Northern Ireland most famous tourist attractions.
Although it did rain a little while we were at the Causeway the weather ultimately was nice. We were able to climb the rocks without slipping and marvel in its natural beauty. I was also able to take one of the cliff trails, which led to a bird’s eye view of the rock formation. The audio guide detailing the myths of Giant’s Causeway proved to be extremely helpful and allowed me to complete the tour at my own pace while also learning the cultural history of the landmark.
By: Jenna Gilder