art & architecture: game of stones


We’ve just returned from our second trip to Ireland to visit family. The first time was during the summer months, and this visit crossed over New Years, but surprisingly the weather was pretty much the same during both visits. Having lived in Chicago all my life, I find something comforting in consistent and predictable weather. Oh, to be able to survive an entire year with just one capsule wardrobe!

We decided to take a road trip north, with a quick stop in Belfast on our way to the coast of Nothern Ireland. Our destination was a place that once I’d read about it, I simply could not pass up – Giant’s Causeway.

One of my favorite parts of traveling is to soak in the architecture of a new place. Most everywhere on Earth has more history than the US, therefore many of the structures have distinct styles that we rarely see stateside. Giant’s Causeway is so much more, though. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding how it came to be, but the truth is that during a particularly volcanic time in Earth’s history, underwater volcanos pushed molten rock straight up and because of how quickly the sea cooled these bursts of lava, they formed an extensive web of perfectly geometric columns. A few are pentagonal, most are hexagonal. We spent a few hours there climbing around on the natural playground, the cool Atlantic winds whipping through our hair.

We made another quick stop a bit east to see a filming site for Game of Thrones (the Iron Islands – I couldn’t resist) and we were able to spot a bit of Scotland as well.