What started as a light breeze and pleasant sprinkle quickly transformed into 100 miles per hour winds as I attempted to walk across the octagonal rocks of the Giant’s Causeway. Unlike the mythical giants who built the Causeway to meet (or rather fight with) each other, I could barely hold my own against the thick Irish breeze; standing at only 5 feet and 10 inches, I was quite small when compared to a giant of any size and hardly stood a chance, to begin with. Like kids playing hopscotch, my group traversed the rocks of the Causeway one by one as we headed into the depths of the Irish Sea. Slow walking and carefully placed footing was essential in our endeavor, as the waves water of the Irish Sea had moistened the rocks of the Causeway
The others within my group, scared that they may never be heard from again as they were blown away like Mary Poppins or fell into the Irish Sea, turned back towards shore. I, nevertheless, the stinging sensation of the cold on the tips of my ear and my cheeks had inspired me to go on. I was determined to reach the edge. As such, I struggled for some 10 to 15 minutes until I reached the halfway mark of the rock cluster that was foremost into the Irish Sea. Just the end to the cluster was in sight, an employee of the National Trust informed me that I would have to turn around because there was now a wind advisory. My struggle to reach the end of the furthermost cluster and peer out into the Irish Sea like the Giant Fionn were dashed away in an instant and I headed back to the shore of Northern Ireland in utter defeat.
Despite my inability to follow in the Giants’ footsteps, I could certainly see how the Giant’s Causeway was heralded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since coming to Ireland, and my last blog post, I have had the opportunity to travel around Ireland with family and friends to see the beauty of the island I now call home. From the Hill of Tara, Loughcrew Passage Tomb, Trim Castle, and Fore Abbey in the Celtic Boyne Valley to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, I has been able to see the rolling hills and the Celtic heritage of the emerald island I heard about so much growing up. On my most recent trip, to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher, I was even able to find a rival to the wind speeds of the Giant’s Causeway. While the historical and natural beauty of Ireland have been a highlight of my time here, I have also come to find amazing Irish friends who I spent the holiday season with and come to enjoy journeying to the Abbey Theatre to see plays (such as Faith Healer and the Long Christmas Dinner). I can wait to see what else in Ireland I can explore!