I have dreamed of visiting Giants Causeway for a very long time, and on our way to Belfast from Dublin, we dropped in with only a small amount of time to wander down and take some photos.
With my camera in hand ready to take some iconic images of the 40,000 interlocking basalt rocks we arrived at The Nook and disembarked our bus, ready to wander down the path to the famous area, made from ancient volcanic fissure eruption, that I have seen so many times on Instagram.
As we wandered down the path the scenery was spectacular, rolling green hills, old rock walls.
But as we got closer something else became apparent there would be no Instagram photos with empty rock foundations, because as we got closer the crowds begun to appear.
Every year over 1 million people visit giants causeway. With the success of Game of Thrones and the huge increase in tourism due to the great marketing of Northern Ireland’s tourism department highlighting all the film locations around the areas, these numbers are just increasing every year. The fact we also arrived in mid-afternoon and only had thirty minutes to look around also added to the rush.
People scurrying everywhere trying to get a shot, It really was a case of what you expect to see and what you actually do.
I had to adapt and change my expectation, and take the time to find an empty patch but it was well worth it.
If you keep wandering past the Basalt rocks you come to large columns that are amazing, they give you an opportunity to see what the structure would look like underground.
Just past the towering rocks is where the path meets up with the Giant Causeway Walking trails, and if we had more time (when we go back :-)) we will definitely wander these paths. The view from the ground of the Amphitheater was inspiring. These trails follow the cliff-top and will give a totally different perspective on the giant causeway.
With our time nearly up we turned back to walk up the path to our awaiting bus at the visitor centre. There is a shuttle bus that runs up and down the hill during business hours, however, the walk back up is only about 15-20 minutes and is not strenuous, so we wandered back up with a memory card full of inspiring pictures, ready to head into Belfast.
But before we hopped on the bus I had to take one more picture, a picture to me that was what I was expecting Northern Ireland to be like.
Have you been to Northern Ireland before?
Or arrived somewhere and realised your expectations were very different from reality?