In the footsteps of a giant

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I can remember visiting the Giant’s Causeway as a kid and being fascinated by the shapes and patterns in the famous rock formations there. One year our family summer holiday took us to the Antrim coast and Dunseverick for two weeks, and from there it is only a couple of miles to this remarkable place.

From Wikipedia: The Giant’s Causeway (known as Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFómharach in Irish and the Giant’s Causey in Ulster-Scots) is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles northeast of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a National Nature Reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.

I remember my dad telling us all about the legend of Finn McCool and how the causeway came to be, and of course I believed every word of his tall tale… who wouldn’t? This is still one of the most unique and magical places I have ever seen, and one that I would love to return to again one day with camera in hand. Surprise, surprise… a grey and rainy sky welcomed me on the day this photograph was made, so it seems only right to process it as a black and white.

From Wikipedia again: Legend has it that the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. One version of the legend tells that Fionn fell asleep before he got to Scotland. When he did not arrive, the much larger Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Fionn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over him so he could pretend that he was actually their baby son. In a variation, Fionn fled after seeing Benandonner’s great bulk, and asked his wife to disguise him as the baby. In both versions, when Benandonner saw the size of the ‘infant’, he assumed the alleged father, Fionn, must be gigantic indeed. Therefore, Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Fionn.

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2 thoughts on “In the footsteps of a giant

    • David Patterson

      It is a unique place that needs to be seen to be believed. The hexagonal shaped pillars of basalt rock are a result of geological stirrings from 50-60 million years ago!

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