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Mingling With Giants At The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

giant's causeway

The Giant’s Causeway was something I had always seen on desktop wallpapers, or in one of the BBC famous travel videos.

I never thought I would actually get to see it for myself one day. But I did!

The 6th day of my trip in Ireland with Shamrocker Tours was all about the dramatic coastline of Northern Ireland, making it one of the week’s highlights, for two reasons: the incredible scenery, of course, but also because the area is explained by yet another hilarious Irish tale.

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Apparently the Irish are quite the smart ones.

Legend has it that the Causeway was shaped by Benandonner, a Scottish giant, who had challenged the Irish giant and local celebrity Finn MacCool. Finn wasn’t as big and strong as Benandonner, so instead of fighting a doomed battle, he decided to trick the Scottish giant. He disguised himself as a baby and said he was actually Finn’s son. Benandonner got to thinking – if the baby is so big already, how enormous is FinnMacCool? The thought alone scared the hell out of him and fled to Scotland in terror, effectively destroying the actual causeway that stood there at the time, and creating the one we see today.

How’s that for outsmarting someone?

Scientists, on the other hand, claim that it was intense volcanic activity some odd 50 million years ago that shaped this unique landscape.

But all the Irish will tell you that it’s bullshit. There are no volcanoes in Ireland – but of course, there are giants!

The Giant’s Causeway is actually the most popular tourist spot in all of Northern Ireland, and was named the fourth greatest Natural Wonder in the United Kingdom. Not bad! Even though the most interesting thing about the Causeway is definitely the legend and the scenery, trivia enthusiasts will enjoy learning that while most of the columns are hexagonal, some of them have only 3 or 4 sides, and some other have up to 8! Also, did you know that some columns are as high as 12 meters high, and 28 meters thick?!

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CategoriesIreland
Marie-Eve

Marie is a native Montrealer trying to balance a deep love for her hometown and an unquenchable thirst for travel and discovery. She has been to more than 36 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels -- especially if it involves chocolate.