A REVIEW OF GIANT’S CAUSEWAY:
WHAT IS IT? AND WHAT TO EXPECT.
Giant’s Causeway is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Norther Ireland. In Ireland there is an old legend that speaks of the giant responsible for the rock formations at this site. Many years ago, a giant, Finn McCool had a problem with another giant in Scotland named Benandonner. Finn decided he would go over to Scotland to teach him a lesson, so he grabbed chunks of rock from Antrim Coast and formed a bridge allowing him to cross to Scotland. When he got there he realized Benandonner was massive and larger than he was. Before Benandonner could get to him, Finn crossed back over to Ireland. Finn’s wife quickly dressed him as a baby and when Benandonner came looking for him, he was terrified when he mistook Finn for a baby and thought “if the child is this big, then Finn must be huge.” Benandonner went back to Scotland and Finn was saved thanks to his wife’s quick thinking.
While some choose to believe the story of Finn McCool, there are also scientific explanations for the rock formations at Giant’s Causeway. An old volcanic eruption and millions of years of erosion is responsible for the way it looks today. The column rocks are called basalt columns and are formed using volcanic or igneous rock. Originally, it was a mystery as to how these columns formed in perfect hexagonal structures as opposed to anything else. Today, we know that when basalt lava cools at a perfectly uniform pace it forms hexagonal structures. This is what we see today at Giant’s Causeway.
what to expect
Giant’s Causeway is found not far from the Bushmill Distillery, which happens to be another great tourist stop. You will need to hike about a mile down onto the rocky shores to see everything, although the views from the top of the cliffs are also beautiful. Be ready for whipping winds and and sea spray. It may be advisable to dress for a misty day even if it isn’t raining. Leave enough time to explore the gift shop and cafe as well, located next to the parking lot. The bathrooms are also located here. Conveniently, there are quite a few hotels near by as well as a hostel if you are looking for cost effectiveness.
worth the visit?
Absolutely. Giant’s Causeway is one of my favorite places on the northern coast of Ireland. You honestly can not snap a bad picture. Be careful near the cliffs as there have been many people who have fallen. If you are in the Bushmills area be sure to make a stop by this location. If you are aware of the legend and enjoy great views, this place is very interesting. The hike is fairly easy and the path is easy to follow. Have your camera ready and take in the fresh air and scenery around you.