Giant’s Causeway

Once upon a time, the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn MacCool) was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Finn accepted the challenge and built a causeway across the sea from northern Ireland to Scotland so that the two giant’s could meet in battle. Fionn crossed the causeway but when he saw how big Benandonner was he fled back home.

IMG_9099IMG_9077IMG_9098

Fionn pleaded with his wife, Oonagh, to help him and she told him to get in the baby’s cradle and put on his bonnet. When the giant Benandonner showed up, Oonagh told him that Fionn was not home and it is just her and her “baby”. When Benandonner saw the size of the “baby” he figured that Fionn must be much bigger and he fled back to Scotland destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn could not follow.

IMG_9104

The peaks of rock in the distance are the chimneys of Finn and Oonagh’s home.

IMG_9103

The columns in this picture are known as the Organ Pipes. On them, Fionn played songs written by his son.

IMG_8996 Giant’s Causeway has long been on my list of places to visit. An area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns located on the north coast of Ireland, it is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.  Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places. Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story of Fionn mac Cumhail and Benandonner was influenced by this.IMG_9083

IMG_9086

Wendy_giantscausewayfeet_giantscausewayIn addition to visiting the Visitor’s center and National Trust site, I also hiked along the trail that runs along the Causeway Coastal Route. A perfect day, truly gorgeous, and I can understand why it is a place of both stunning natural beauty and imaginative myth and legend.

IMG_8991 IMG_8998

IMG_8997   IMG_9008IMG_9102

One thought on “Giant’s Causeway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s