09 July 2007

Mystical Places: Giant's Causeway


Yet another mysterious, magical, mystical place in the U.K. - the amazing volcanic rock formation known as the Giant's Causeway. How cool is this place?

Wikipedia offers the following:

"The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption. It is located on the North East coast about 3 kilometres (2 miles) north of the town of Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland."

"Legend has it that the Irish giant 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 Finn McCool 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 Fionn and pretended he was actually Fionn's 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.

Another variation is that Oonagh painted a rock shaped like a steak and gave it to Benandonner, whilst giving the baby (Fionn) a normal steak. When Benandonner saw that the baby was able to eat it so easily, he ran away, tearing up the causeway.

The "causeway" legend corresponds with geological history in as much as there are similar basalt formations (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at the site of Fingal's Cave on the isle of Staffa in Scotland."

Looking at these weird rock formations, it's easy to believe some strange and magical being had to have a hand in creating them. Yet, we know today, they are instead, the magic of nature.

Until our next adventure,
Bianca D'Arc
Come over to the D'Arc side... http://www.biancadarc.com/
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