Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s have been the forefront of many mythological stories dating back, well, as far as you want to go, really.

20130826-142631.jpg

20130826-142800.jpg

Giant’s. Just think about one for a second. However your brain depicts your own image of what you think a giant would look like. Got an idea? Good. Great. Grand.

Now picture him building that causeway. Crazy right?

The Giant’s Causeway lies at the base of basalt cliffs along the coast in Northern Ireland. There are roughly 40,000 massive, black basalt columns, which were formed 50-60 million years ago over a number of different volcanic activities. The majority of the columns are hexagonal, however there are many that range from three to eight sides, ranging from a few feet tall to 40 feet. Just a giant (no pun intended) geometric puzzle.

20130826-143020.jpg

So, you say 50-60 million years ago? Volcanic eruptions essentially formed this ’causeway’. Ya right. Snooze.

Legend has it that the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool) was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realizes that his foe is much larger than him. Fionns wife, Una, disguises Fionn as a baby. When Benandonner sees the size of the ‘baby’, he reckons that the babys father must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn could not follow.

Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns which were formed as part of the same lava flow, on the Scottish isle of Staffa.

Now, there are a few different versions of how the story ended, but Ill leave that up to your own imagination.

20130826-143203.jpg

Its tough to put my finger on the right word to describe this day.

There was a lot more going on that I expected when we arrived. The day we went just happened to be the day that the National Trust was celebrating something, so there were people everywhere. The Bonus? It was free. The not-so-bonus? Busloads of tourists. I mean, lets be realistic here. Im sorry you 6 or 7 Asian tourists, but can you really not comprehend that sitting down directly on top of one of the most photographed areas in all of the United Kingdom to have a picnic just isn’t smart? Get the fuck heck out of the way.

Some peoples kids, eh?

I would have loved to go during the evening, where no tourists are in the way. That would have been ideal.

20130826-143547.jpg

All in all this place was phenomenal. I could have stood there all day (one reason being waiting for that perfect photo. As soon as every tourist finally gets out of the photo, another walks in. Almost impossible to get a photo with no one in it) and just stared down at the columns. It still doesnt make sense to me that they are the way that they are.

20130826-143722.jpg

20130826-143848.jpg

Im pretty positive that the Causeway finalized seeing all three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ireland. Bam, chalk another up. The third was Newgrange. Thats next.