While in Belfast, my wife and I took a tour up to the Giant’s Causeway. We have been looking forward to this tour since we decided to come to Ireland. In fact, it is part of the reason that we chose Ireland in the first place.
How the Causeway was Formed
Way back in the day, the Irish giant, Finn MacCool, wanted to go and fight the Scottish giant, Benandonner. Finn built a pathway from Ireland over to Scotland, but upon nearing Scotland realized that the Scottish giant was much bigger than him. Finn came back and asked his wife what he should do. She thought for a moment and told him to dress up like a baby and to lay in the crib. Then she left. The Scottish giant came across the pathway to fight the Irish giant. He came into the house and saw the crib. Looking inside, he was afraid, “If their babies are this large, how big can his da be?” He ran back across the stone path, tearing it up as he went so that the Irish giant would not come to his island.
Of course, then you’ve got some scientists trying to tell everyone that the Causeway was formed “as a result of rock crystallization under conditions of accelerated cooling, this usually occurs when molten lava comes into immediate contact with water, as happens today in Hawaii, the resulting fast accelerated cooling process causes cracking and results in what we see today at the causeway.” But we all know the real story, don’t we Finn? 😉
(click on picture to view full-sized)
There is no real way to describe the feeling you get when visiting the Causeway. It is interesting to see the uniformity of the hexagonal stones on the ground and realize that it is a natural formation. They could easily be man-made paving stones. Then when you see that the stones “laying on the ground” are actually the tips of columns that could be meters in length it becomes even more amazing!