Friday, 10 August 2007

Giants Causeway - Quality, but needs a ski lift, non-slip mats, free helmets, etc etc

*with a few minor alterations that is...

Review: World Heritage Site

I went to: The Giants Causeway. A natural pavement of huge rocks projecting into the Atlantic Ocean/A Causeway linking Ireland and Scotland created by Finn MacCool (local giant, deceased).

On the:
25th of July

For:
An afternoon of walking around peculiar shaped rocks and all that sort of thing. I had never been before which is a bit of a disgrace so I thought I better make an appearance.

I discovered: Peculiar shaped rocks and all that sort of thing, tourists from all over the world, that I am much more of a city person than I thought, and that I am not as fit as I used to be. (When were you that fit? - LMM)

death rocks...

And it was: Whacky! It really does look strange. The rocks are so geometrically similar you would swear they were made by hand.

The amenities were:
From the 1980's, I swear I saw Limahl from 80's poopergroup Kajagoogoo, in the toilets. The gift shop had some nice overpriced "stuff" but there was also an audio visual display section which gives you the history and mythology of the rocks. Or you could just go down to the rocks.

It cost me: Very little it has to be said. They get you with the car park charges £5.00 and a quid for the audio/visual tour, and another £1.00 for the bus back again. Let's be honest I would have paid ten times that to get back up the hill. LMM packed a picnic which all came from Marks & Spencer's so that was the dearest part of the day. The gift shop do know how to charge, but I still got a jar of jam, raspberry and rhubarb, for £2.50. (Worth it)

And I'll be going back: Eh um when I have to take American visitors. Or when they get the escalator put in. I am a city person, this outing confirmed that. But it was worth going to, it is quite fascinating, if a litter dangerous.

Other words: "The Causeway formed 60 Million years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. The lava cooled and hardened, it formed layers of basalt rock to become the Giant’s Causeway. You can see approximately 40,000 columns of basalt rock today." That's the scientific view.

OR...

"Long ago, an Irish giant named Finn MacCool roamed the north coast, where he could look across the narrow sea of Moyle to Scotland. A Scottish giant, Benandonner, was Finn’s greatest rival, challenging his strength and reputation.

As the two giants had never met, Finn decided to invite Benandonner to Ireland, to engage in a decisive battle. There was no boat large enough to carry giants, so Finn built a causeway of huge stones across the water so that the Scottish giant could travel on dry land; thus he would have no excuse to avoid the confrontation.

However, as big Ben approached, Finn realised to his horror that his opponent was a larger and more fearsome rival than he anticipated. He fled to his home in the nearby hills, and like any sensible man, asked his wife for advice. Oonagh, a practical woman, disguised Finn as a baby, complete with large night gown and bonnet. She placed him in a huge, hastily made cradle, telling him to keep quiet and pretend to sleep, as Benandonner’s great shadow darkened the door. Oonagh brought the Scottish giant in for tea, pleading with him not to waken Finn’s child, Looking at the massive ‘baby’ lying in the cradle, Benandonner took fright, saying that if this was the child, he had no wish to meet the father. He fled back to Scotland, ripping up the Causeway behind him, terrified that the awful Finn might follow him home." That's the Creationist/Tourist Board interpretation. And it's a great story.

And who am I to complain about it? It's been round for millions of years and huge numbers of people from all over the world have visited the rock formations. The walk down to the rocks is lovely, walking hand in hand with your love. The wind blowing your hair, or where your hair used to be. But I cant be the only one to notice that it is as dangerous as rock climbing in bare feet. Let me tell you if you slip on the rocks you are in danger of loosing a mouthful of teeth, an eye, and having your shins smashed into a thousand pieces. I shit you not. It's slippy, the stones are sharp, and the wind coming off the Atlantic does it's bit to mess with your stability.

Now these problems are solvable. Here is the WellDoneFillet solution:
  1. A ski lift/Escalator would help the more rotund visitor access the Causeway. This is a good investment for the future as we are all gonna get lovely and fat(ter).
  2. Bean bags, scatter cushions, soft padding everywhere thus protecting those of us who cant walk ten paces without falling down.
  3. If this is a move too far then I suggest knee and shin pads with matching elbow pads and helmets. Oh and a mouth guard to protect your pearly yellows, sorry I mean pearly whites.
  4. Offer helicopter/balloon rides over the rocks. Now that would save all sorts of "man" energy.
  5. Or I could get fit and lose some weight. Ha ha ha ha that's just daft, God I crack me up, lose some weight... brilliant.

And so it gets: Oh it gets a 5 out of 5 for the rocks, quality rocks. They really are impressive. The visitor centre etc needs a total overhaul and a decent coffee offering, not Starbucks, but something decent all the same. They should look at my suggestions for improvement because let's be honest I ain't gonna be running marathons anytime soon.

stunning but deadly much like the ex-wife...

15 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

I wanted to take Mr. M when we were visiting your fair city in February but the tour was a whole day trip that we had no time for, unfortunately.
Don't forget the moment of fame when the Giant's Causeway graced the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" album cover. Stoners meditated on the rocks accordingly.

The Hangar Queen said...

Howya Manuel,
Been meaning to pop in for a while now.Great stuff.

I went to the G.C. about 10 years ago and I swear I saw Boney M.

MacDara said...

there is another version of the story which says he built the causeway inorder to visit a Female in Scotland. The may have had some meeting on the Iland of Straffa in Fingal's cave.

On discovering her husbands infidelity his wife Destroyed the causeway to prevent him doing it again.

gimme a minute said...

'Worth seeing but not worth going to see.' Some smart arsed fucker said that about it, right? Or was that the Grand Canyon?

Manuel, don't be just dismissing that marathon idea out of hand. Think of the larks! The bleugh fodder! The shooting pains up your left arm!

Manuel said...

medbh: Shoulda gone, it is worth a nosey. Being stoned would certainly help...

The hangar queen: Morning, welcome, cocktail to start the day? Boney M eh, the Atlantic's nice but it's no Babylon..

MacDara: Man makes nice crazy paving, woman destroys it in bad mood. It's a timeless story...

Gimme: It was Samuel Adams, what the fuck did he know about anything?

"Think of the larks! The bleugh fodder! The shooting pains up your left arm!"

That's what I have sex for....

sheepworrier said...

Haha - yous are makin Finn sound like a knacker!
"d'ya want yer driveway tarmaced mista? Cash-in-hand. I did the causeway ya know..."

Its a good place for the tourists, tho I haven't been there since I was a nipper. Still have the scars...

Was it Finn or Cuchulain who made Lough Neagh and the Isle of Man by heavin a great big lump into the Irish Sea?

'That's the Creationist/Tourist Board interpretation' - heh, classic.

ooo, this is a rather long post...

Manuel said...

Sheepworrier: Saves me having to write another over the weekend.

Saying that I probably will...

We should ask for the Isle of Man back, either that or throw county Derry into the Irish seas as well. Yes lets do that, terrible county...

sheepworrier said...

The stone-washed denim companies might have something to say about that tho Manuel. 1/2 their profits are fom selling to Derry lads.

Now Fermanagh - theres a useless county if ever i saw one...

Sassy Sundry said...

Well, if I ever visit you, you'll have to take me there. That looks really cool.

toast said...

I used to really hate the giants causeway, i think it gre from going there for every school trip there was (admittedly it was better than greenmount) but on becoming a teenager I grew to really really like the place and now make sure i make it down there when i get home. If you are ever in that part of the world again manuel, you have to go to the rope bridge at carrick-a-rede - an even longer walk to get there but a beautifil cliff walk for the last bit..

I have never really managed to photograph the causeway properly but i got some interesting shots the last time i was there

Picture 1
Picture 2

Now if you could just get your management to commission me to take some moody B&Ws of some dilapalated part of East Belfast for the restaurant before some smart arse decides to open a wine bar there, rename it 'the delorean quarter' and have the locals replace their murals of gunmen to murals of may mcfetridge and julian from UTV - that would be just swell

sheepworrier said...

toast: 'before... the locals replace their murals of gunmen to murals of may mcfetridge and julian from UTV'

You say that like its a bad thing. We love our wee Julian so we do...
The fat little tangoed tw*t makes me feel slightly higer up the evolutionary chain.

Anonymous Boxer said...

You can add all of your suggested amenities, or you can just go to Disneyland where they've already created "nature" with escalators? But the jam would probably cost more. Oh, and the air fare.

Old Knudsen said...

I was there the last time about 10 years ago (not that its changed) and they need to get a bloody heater in there too and stop that freezing wind. You got the bus back? hahahaha you old tourist.

Manuel said...

Sheepworrier: Bwahaha funny as fuck, mainly cos it's true..

Sassy: It is and I will

Toast: Moody pics there Toast. Quality too. Too late the gentrification is well underway. Take the lifeboat bar for example. It was an ordinary working mans bar until a few months ago. Following a lick of pain and the inclusion of a ladies toilet it's all cool now. David Holmes dj's on a Saturday night and the street drinkers are no longer welcome. It's a travesty.

As for the carrick-a-rede rope brideg, are you mental? I'm scared of heights and terrified of walking...

Sheepworrier: "and now on the UTVEEEE.."

Anonymous boxer: Worth it. You see that's the sort of blue sky thinking we aren't just capable of. (joke)

Old K: I threw women, children and cripple behind me to get a good seat. And I have no shame...

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