The Giant Sleeps Tonight
By Katie Gotta
Today was one of the most incredible days of my life, and it had nothing to do with anything besides admiring the incredible beauty surrounding me at every turn.
We began the day by stepping onto a bus with two Irishmen, Dave and Johnny, with no idea as to where we would be headed. Little did we know they would be taking us to some of the most beautiful areas of the world all throughout the western coast of Ireland. On the bus, everywhere I looked was another beautiful sight, with the Irish sea to my right and the herds of sheep to my left. After the short ride we were taken to a beautiful hiking resort called the Giants Causeway, where we were given a choice of several different paths going for miles in each direction. Wanting the best view possible, me and two others chose the hardest route possible, but boy was it worth it. Several times throughout our hike I would find myself stopping to take in my surroundings, staring off into the magnificent sea wondering how this could possibly be real.
Following our adventures at the Causeway the second stop of the day was at an area that was actually used in Game of Thrones called the Dark Hedges (known as Kings Road on the series). I watched as many of my peers got out of the bus wide eyed at the area they had only seen on TV.
And our last official visit of the day was to a beautiful castle nestled onto a cliff overlooking the sea called Dunluce. Dating back thousands of years, it is given the title as one of Ireland’s oldest and most eloquent castles, a title it well deserves. Although we do not know all of the history on the magnificence of this castle, it gave me chills knowing that people in the 1600s stood in the very same spot looking at the same view.
Following our long day of adventuring, I was beyond exhausted. I had already logged over 12,000 steps and I was sure that once I sat down I wouldn’t sit back up. While many of us couldn’t rally, I decided that since I’m only going to be in Ireland once I may as well take advantage of all opportunities, and I began another treacherous hike with 10 others to a 15ft Rope Bridge connecting mainland Ireland with an island that makes for incredible views. While many seem to be petrified of this bridge (we were stopped numerous times by tourists on their way back telling us about their fear), I was the high ropes champion in 5th grade so this little bridge had nothing on me. Although my high ropes course was 30ft up in a gym and this was 150ft up in the depths of Ireland… Regardless, the bridge lead to one of the most stunning views so far this trip, and was well worth the total of 20,000 steps in a day.
Although I am exhausted, I feel so eternally grateful to be able to enjoy the beauties of Ireland. Seeing images in media such as TV & films are one thing, but being able to witness first hand the magnificence and power of Ireland is an unforgettable experience. I feel connected to Ireland in a way that’s indescribable, and I can’t wait for more days like this, as I am sure they will be ones I will never forget.