Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day two: Rope Bridge, Giant's Causeway, Derry

Today was jam packed with places to go and see. We got an early start (most because jet lag caused us to fall asleep at 5 last night and then wake up around 2 WIDE AWAKE). We got on our PaddyWagon Tour bus around 6:40am and departed for the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.

Our drive was very nice, it was great to get out of Dublin (dirty little city, it is) and into the green rolling hills of Ireland. We left Dublin with blue skies and then drove into fog, then out of it, then into it, then out of it, all the way to Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. I was nervouse that it would be foggy when we got there and it was a tad overcast at first but then it burned off. Oh, it was beautiful! The sun shinning on the blue ocean and green hills, lovely.

The bridge itself was not all that thrilling. I didn't go on it becuase a) you had to pay and b) I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to heights. Shannon went on it though and she made it across and back in one piece. I did watch the man who took the tickets help escort some lady across and I smiled because that would have been me had I decided to go on.

From there we departed to the Giant's Causeway an amazing assortment of basalt columns. The legend that we were told was that Fionn McCool was a young child who lived in Ireland. His parents knew that there was something special about him so they sent him to live with a druid. The druid took him fishing and the goal was to catch a special kind of salmon. If you caught it and ate it you would have all the knowledge you needed for the rest of your life. So the druid took Fionn fishing, and lo and behold, Fionn caught a salmon. Now his teacher took him back to his house and put the fish on a pan to fry and instructed Fionn to fry it but not to eat it. So, being a good lad, Fionn did. As Fionn was watching the fish fry he noticed a buble coming up from underneath the gill of the salmon. Unsure of what to do he touched the bubble to pop it and burnt his finger. He stuck his finger in his mouth to cool it down and inadvertently sucked in the knowledge juice that had been meant for his master. When his master got back he realized what had happened and ordered Fionn McCool out of his house never to return. Now Fionn was still a young lad, but because he had all the knowledge he needed he was able to make money by teaching the women how to cook and clean and the men how to hunt and protect.

Then Fionn got lonely. And he looked across the sea and he could see the country of Scotland. He decided to go over and find a lass to marry and he decided that the best way to go about doing so would be to build stepping stones all the way across Ireland to Scotland. The town watched him as he worked and worked and finally it was completed. He went across to Scotland and found a scottish princess, married her, and brought her back to Ireland.

Now there was a giant that lived in Scotland by the name of Benandonner. Somehow word got to the princess that Benandonner was upset that she had been taken out of Scotland and that he was on his way to Ireland to kill Fionn McCool. The princess told her husband and he immedatly told the men in his town to build a cradle, large enough for him to fit in. The he commissioned his wife and the other women to sew him baby clothes. The towns people were confused but knowing that he had special knowledge they did as he commanded. He got dressed in his baby clothes, had the men hoist him into the cradle and then commanded everyone else to go hide in the woods.

That night Benandonner got to his village and was ready for business. When he stumbled upon Fionn in the cradle he thought to himself, "If this how big the baby is, how big is the father!?" And Benandonner ran all the way home, tripping and falling on some of the stepping stones near Scotland breaking them.

Then we drove to Derry. It was a quaint little town full of history. It is the home of Bloody Sunday, a day where 27 peacful civil rights activitsts were shot by the british army. We went to a very intersting museum, where we did not have nearly enough time to look and see everything.

All in all it was a very nice day. Long, but nice.

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