Nestled along the northern edge of the island of Ireland, in County Antrim, the UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Giant’s Causeway is an inspiration for artists, authors, musicians and many others. Some notable features are the Organ, the Giant’s Boot, the Giant’s Eyes, the Honeycomb, the Giant’s Harp, the Chimney Stacks, the Giant’s Gate, the Camel’s Hump, and the Shepherd’s Steps.
The site, which consists of 40,000 basalt columns, is 60 million years old. Ancient people made up tales and myths about the causeway.
The legend goes that giant Finn MacCool is having trouble with another giant across the Irish Sea, named Benandonner. Finn, angry, tosses chunks of the Antrim coast rock and throws them into the sea, forming a causeway or path across to the Isle of Staffa.
He discovers that Benandonner is a bit more terrifying than he had thought, so he retreats. When he does, his wife disguises him quickly as a baby, and bids him to sleep.When Benandonner discovers this giant sleeping child, he decides that if the baby is that big, the father must be huge, so he retreats, destroying the bridge in his wake.
When you visit, there is a visitor’s centre with an enormous cafe/gift shop, and an audiotour you can purchase. You can pay a Pound and take the bus down or walk, about a mile or so. You can decide to take the bus back if you are worn out by your trip!
Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books. And watch out for my upcoming historical fantasy novel, Legacy of Hunger!
– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland
– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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