The Giant’s Causeway

Giants' CausewayOkay, so when modern man discovered the bizarre, meticulous rock formations at the Giant’s Causeway there were serious theories floated by learned men that the shoreline was man-made.

No wonder, the stones are hexagonal and almost perfectly symmetrical; it’s hard to believe they’re anything but deliberate. Standing among them, it doesn’t take a real leap of imagination to picture someone methodically stacking them where they are.

Giants' causeway closeup on symmetrical stonesFunny enough, that’s exactly what Irish mythology says happened: the stones were placed here by Finn MacCool who was building a causeway between Ireland and Scotland. Finn did this in response to the taunts of a Scottish giant who could not swim to Ireland but claimed that, could he just reach Ireland’s shores, he’d kick Finn’s ass. Finn exhausted himself building the causeway and when the Scottish giant arrived across it he saw a sleeping Finn dressed as a baby. Fooled by the disguise, the Scottish giant was frightened away by what the size of the baby intimated about his sire and he destroyed the bridge to Scotland as he fled.

As far as scientists are able to tell, the real reason why the stones look like they do is due to rapid cooling of molten rock. In defense of this theory, Giant’s causeway is not ENTIRELY, just mostly, unique; there are similar formations elsewhere in North Antrim and over in Scotland at Fingal’s Cave. The causeway is still mysterious as hell and definately worth a look if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Technically, access to the Giant’s Causeway is free, but you’ll probably have to pay to park your car (5 pounds). Once there it’s a long hike in, maybe about a mile (it took us about 15 minutes). Be prepared on your way back for the steep hike back as well. Once there, you’ll find an access road that runs along the coast which, while it’s not open for traffic, makes for a nice walk; on the left the ocean crashes against the shore while on the right the land rises into dramatic cliffs. You’re not allowed to stray off the path until you reach the causeway park, but once you’re there there’s no railings, fences or any inhibitions to keep you from climbing or walking wherever you want – something I don’t think you’d find at many places to frequented by tourists (even the Cliffs of Moher are mostly fenced off nowadays).

Giants' causeway banner image of seascape