history / Inspiration / travel

The legend of Finn McCool


It was raining so hard when I landed in Belfast that the wind literally blew the queue of disembarking people backwards. Actually. And it may have been a real instruments-only landing for the pilot. Sitting next to the wing as we began descending I could see it…still there…bit of cloud…wing tip still visible…entirely white coverage…and then suddenly BLACK CLOUD NO WING OH EM GEE GOING TO – and then bumnphscrreeechn and we’d safely touched down on the tarmac. Thank. Goodness.

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

But all was well because I had my entire weekend’s needs stuffed into my gorgeous new Herschel backpack and one of my favourite people picked me up in Herbelina (just wait) and we possibly literally didn’t stop talking for about 48 hours. And despite the fact that the rain continued into Saturday, she  – wonderful person that she is – drove me all the way out to the Giant’s Causeway to tell me the legend of Finn McCool and let me hop about the stones the way I’d read in a book once (and isn’t it always the way, that you just need to see a place after that?)

And I’m basically in love with it now. I can’t wait to go back in the summer…when it’s not almost entirely submerged. But I can’t tell you how lucky we were to get this break in the weather. It was so grim out that I thought we’d be outside for a maximum of ten minutes before we succumbed to the lure of hot chocolate (included in the ticket price! I love you, National Trust), and we may or may not have actually bought matching hats in the gift shop because it was bucketing it down even as we ran from the car to the visitor’s centre and even though we were wearing about 50 layers each, that was the only one we didn’t have.

So, be-hatted, be-scarved, be-woollen-ed in every way, we braced ourselves and – it. It had actually stopped raining. And as we walked down the path to the basalt stones, the sun actually began to peep out from behind the clouds. It was the most miraculous break ever, and I swear it felt like it had happened just for us. Just for my first visit…just to enchant.

If it wasn’t for the wind and the rain, those magnificent waves wouldn’t have been pounding the rocks – galloping, as Claire aptly put it, towards the shore in pairs – leaving wispy flecks of foam floating through the air.

Oh, it was stunning.

And then the weather decided we’d had our fair share of beautiful vistas for the day, and we should absolutely continue the tour (culminating in one of the best meals ever and a pre-meal beach drive. Yes DRIVE. So. Much. Fun). By the by, who is Herbellina, you ask? THIS. Is Herbellina:

Beatle, Beach

Isn’t she gorgeous? Whenever anyone wants to find me one of these for as little as Herbellina cost, feel free. Anyway, Claire, thank you so much for such a wonderful weekend. Not just the Causeway, but the chats and the meeting wonderful new people and drinking in ridiculously old pubs with saloon doors and the whiskey in beautiful inns with peat fires and amazing homemade risotto and pancakes and ferrying me everywhere and basically just being one of the best humans I’ve ever met. Also, getting you hooked on Episodes, yep yep! I can’t wait to come back!

See you soon, Belfast…(I hope!)

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