The Giant's Causeway
Mon 25 Jul 2022 06:41
The curves of the inner walls of the volcanic area, dressed in a mantle of green are sensuous and contrast fabulously with the straight, regular sides of the basalt rocks. The volcanic activity that created these rocks took place fifty to sixty million years ago when Finn MacCool, a local giant, built the stepping stones so he could go and deal with his Scottish rival. Well the 'Cool' bit is real. As the molten magma cooled and solidified and went on cooling until it reached the temperature of between 840 and 890C and at this point, due to the shrinkage, it cracked and it was the behaviour of the cracks that formed the mostly hexagonal shaped rocks.
We decided to take the Red route so we could look down on the area from above before exploring it close up. I have written more about it in the blog 'Secrets of Lough Swilly and Beyond' so I'll let you enjoy the photos now.
The castle we saw from the bus on the way to the Causeway and back to Derry is Dunluce Castle which would have been a fine excursion had we still got the energy. The present castle was rebuilt at the very beginning of the sixteenth century by the McQuillan family and was taken from them in battle by the MacDonnells. The film 'A Shine of Rainbows' was filmed at the castle in 2009 and it appeared in The Game of Thrones as the House of Greyjoy.
The causeway itself is in the middle of the second picture pointing out to sea. You can see beneath the avalanches of rock that there are many more columns as yet still hidden. We were lucky to be there at low tide, the grey area of rock would be concealed at high tide and the causeway would look much smaller!
I was amazed by the little valley of rock balls made up of much smaller fragments stuck together, maybe as they rolled downhill over a rocky surface and grew in size because they were sticky, like a rolling snowball.
Apparently, when rain forms thousands of rock pools in the concave rocks and then the sun shines on them, the glittering effect over the entire area is spectacular. A week camping nearby would be beneficial here.
The last few photos starting with Dunluce Castle I took with my little Lumix camera. You may see the contrast in quality. So I am now trying to wean myself off it in favour of the Canon EOS 600D, but the Lumix is so handy!
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.