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The Giant's Causeway
A Geological World Wonder

     
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large polygonal basalt rocks of the causeway, shown next to a man
My son providing a size comparison to the large basalt rock formation.
My first visit to Northern Ireland was in 1992 to visit my wife's relatives. While I knew I would be spending much of my time in family gatherings, I made it clear I did not want to miss seeing the Giant's Causeway.

The Giants Causeway:

Giant's Causeway page 2, the cliff walk
Giant's Causeway page 3 , the Organ
Giant's Causeway page 4 , to the Causeway
Giant's Causeway page 5 , the Middle Causeway
Giant's Causeway Photo page

A few of Northern Ireland's sights:

Belfast
Mount Stewart
Dunluce
Old Bushmills' Distillery
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

Outside Links:

The Official Giant's Causeway website
Wikipedia

a view of the middle, Giant's Causeway with the ocean
Photo Above - the middle Causeway, photo was taken during my first visit to Ireland on a relatively sunny day.

The Giant's Causeway is truly one of Nature's Wonders. These polygonal, column like structures, were formed millions (around 60 million) years ago when a volcanic rock flow experienced unusual, rapid, and erratic cooling.

the hexagonal and pentagonal basalt structures that make up the causeway
Photo Above - puddles of water collect on the top of the basalt columns.
It was this cooling process that forced the rock to crack, forming the material into hexagons and pentagons. A process somewhat like (but not the same as) that which forms the polygonal structures sometimes found in dried out mud puddles.
Over the years the cap rock eroded exposing the basalt columns. By chance, the columns are next to and actually extend into the Ocean; providing a dramatic setting for these polygonal formations.

Since the basalt columns look like pavers making a pathway into the sea, many early viewers of the structure thought it had to be the ruins of a man made causeway. But, who could have made such a grand structure? Only Giants of course.

Photo Right - As storm clouds gather above us, my son stands on the Causeway rocks and peers down to the calm ocean.

My son stands on the middle causeway before the storm arrives

Arriving at the Giant's Causeway Visitor Center, we decided to take the guidebook's suggestion and hike the cliff's face, the upper walk, ....at times I am not so certain Travel Guides know what they're talking about.

We had encountered some wet weather in the early morning but as we headed out on to the cliff, it looked like mostly sun heading our way.

Continue to page 2 of the Giant's Causeway

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Most of the information on this website was gather during my families July 2004 visit to Ireland
This page last updated May 2007