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Ben Bulben – Ireland

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Popularly known as the “Table Mountain” in Ireland, the Ben Bulben forms a part of the Dartry Mountains in the Sligo County of Ireland. It is a formation of rock which is protected by the Sligo County Council and is known to be a formation of 320 million years when not only Ireland but most of the Earth was covered by glaciers.

It is a jaw shaped rocky ridge which is named in the Irish version of Gulban’s Peak. The height of the top of Ben Bulben is 500 metres from the sea level and the shape is known to have come from the movement of glaciers and it is composed of layers of limestone on mudstone. The lower parts of the broad ridge are known have deposits of shale which are also referred to as the Ben Bulben Shale formation. In this mountain are many fossils most of them being sea shells and some of which also contain corals. There are number of wholes on the plane surface of Ben Bulben which are famous for having unknown depths. However, if one tries to listen carefully, the sound of the tides of the oceans can be heard from the rocks thereby indicating the mammoth presence within a distance of three to four miles.

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There are a large number of myths that surround the Ben Bulben. One of them is that it is the only place in Ireland where fairies, also known as ‘gentry’, are visible. In fact, if you try to look southwards from the table top of Ben Bulben, you can spot a number of megalithic structures which mainly seem to be wedges and court cairns to be strewn on the foot of the Dartry Mountains. Though there is no concrete evidence of any astounding presence in the area but, Ben Bulben certainly flaunts a variety of unique plants and living creatures which are not usually seen in the rest of Ireland. These plants include arctic alpine plants and some different hares, foxes and insects which perhaps are toned to survive in extremely cold environments.

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Though, a potentially great climbing destination, the Sligo Tourism Department usually does not encourage climbing the Ben Bulben. The northern side is especially posed to be the most dangerous because it has bore the maximum brunt of the high speed winds and also the mighty Atlantic waves. In comparison, the southern side still gives a safer climb. There is a looped walkway around the Ben Bulben and it is said that from the top of the ridge a spectacular view of the Yeats Country can be enjoyed. Just next to the Ben Bulben is huge farmland which is under private ownership and is thus non-accessible to the general public.

There are number of small B&B and hotels around the Ben Bulben which give a chance to the trekkers as well as tourists to enjoy the sight of the mighty formation and also enjoy the traditional Irish culture. It is known to be one of the most visited sights of Ireland.

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