Shamrockin Around Ireland – by Hallie Barkume

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Our journey throughout Northern Ireland continued on Wednesday with Donald Trump jokes from the locals, a surprisingly challenging hike through Giant’s Causeway, and lots of Game of Thrones references. The first stop on the Shamrocker Bus Tour was Giant’s Causeway, a beautiful coastline with cliffs and scenery overlooking the North Channel, all created from a volcanic eruption.

I found it interesting that our guide (s/o to Conor) spoke so extensively about the myths and science theories about the creation of Giant’s Causeway. It reminded me of learning about the myths behind Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Grand Canyon to create a wild story about how they were formed. Giant’s Causeway was supposedly formed by a Scottish giant fleeing Northern Ireland, similar to the story of how the Grand Canyon was formed. It’s interesting that both of our countries use myths to explain phenomenons and to spread information to others.

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Giant’s Causeway

Part of me wonders if myths will begin to fade and taught less in elementary schools. I don’t think myths and legends are meant to be taken seriously, but the stories are still told to young students. Perhaps we’ll see a shift in how myths are told as more people move away from religion as a basis for science. I would be curious to see if Ireland starts to move in that direction as well, or if it’s simply just a more exciting way to tell stories. Regardless of the way the stories are communicated and advertised amongst the locals and tourists, it’s still fun to hear them and learn about the history of Ireland!

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Ballintoy, Ireland at sunset. My favorite view so far!

After approaching a brush with death/heat stroke on the giant (no pun intended) staircase in Giant’s Causeway, we headed to a castle. The Dunluce Castle was incredible and the view was breathtaking. It was almost as incredible as how many people from Michigan we’ve met in Northern Ireland.

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Dunluce Castle

We ended our day as we end every day: with a pint or two. But before that, we saw the Dark Hedges. On Thursday we left the Sheep Island’s Inn and took off for the Republic of Ireland. The hostel was aptly named as there were definitely more sheep than the 150 people that lived in the small village of Ballintoy. Our next stop was Dunseverick Castle and then Derry. Finally we challenged our inner Bear Grylls by hiking two miles uphill to Slieve League to see the tallest cliffs in Europe. The view at the cliffs kept the theme of this week alive by continuing to take my breath away and truly appreciate this country.

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Slieve League Cliffs

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Denise Barkume says:

    Bear would be proud!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aileen Barkume says:

    I love the stories. I’m traveling vicariously through you, so thanks for the stories and pictures.

    Like

  3. Evangelina says:

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    Like

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