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The Giant’s Causeway

Posted by on October 7, 2018

Even though Londonderry was a disappointment, Northern Ireland does have some amazing places.

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When we were in Ireland the last time, we did not have time to make it up to the northern extreme. This time, however, we had made it. One of nature’s most amazing geologic formations can be found on the island’s north shore in Country Antrim and I really wanted to see it. Called the Giant’s Causeway, this unique volcanic basalt formation is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a true Irish gem.

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How this strange landscape was created is a subject of debate.  Science tells one story and local legend tells another. even though I’m a science teacher, I kind of like the legend one actually. According to locals, a certain cocky giant by the name of Finn McCool built the causeway.

Finn MacCool and the Giant's Causeway (Folk Tales From Around the World) by [Guillain, Charlotte]

Apparently, Finn was having trouble with some rude and aggressive giant across the water in Scotland. The giant, Benandonner, was threatening Ireland, which Finn would not tolerate. An enraged Finn grabbed large rocks from the Antrim coast and threw them into the sea to make a path to reach Scotland so he could teach Benandonner a lesson.

When Finn finally reached Scotland, he realized it was a bad idea. He didn’t see from afar that Benandonner was terrifyingly massive. Wisely, Finn beat a hasty retreat, but the giant followed in pursuit. Luckily for Finn his wise wife was quick thinking. She disguised him as a baby. The angry Scot saw the baby and decided if the child was that big, his father must be really huge. The scared giant bid a hasty retreat back to Scotland destroying most of the causeway in the process. Finn was saved.

Image result for finn giants causeway

The scientific explanation is not as interesting, but probably more accurate.

*entry fee of £8.50 per person (£4.25 for children)

 

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