Oops- wrong giant. This post is about another giant, the breathtaking Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland which is about a stones throw from the town of Bushmill. There is a legend of how the hexagonal columns came about concerning not one but two giants but scientists tell us that the basaltic columns we see today were created by intense volcanic activity some 50 to 60 million years ago. The legend though is a lot more fun than the science in my opinion.

There are a couple of versions regarding the giants legend but this is the gist of it. The Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill aka Finn MacCool was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn took the challenge building the causeway across the North Channel to Scotland so they could meet for the fight. When Fionn sees how much larger Benandonner is than he, Fionn has his wife, Úna, disguise him as a baby and tuck him into a cradle. Apparently, when the giant Benandonner saw the size of the ‘baby’, he decides that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn could not follow. Across on the other side where Benandonner lived are more of the basalt columns. So…..you figure it out.

Lodging in the town of Bushmill popular with the backpacking youth.

Lodging in the town of Bushmill popular with the backpacking youth.

Looking out the window of our room at the Causeway Inn.

Looking out the window of our room at the Causeway Inn.

Still part of our view from hotel but what you see when you walked to the edge.

Still part of our view from hotel but what you see when you walked to the edge.

And this is what you see when you put your camera over the edge.

And this is what you see when you put your camera over the edge.

The walk down to the Giant's Causeway.

The walk down to the Giant’s Causeway.

Some say this looks like the giants foot. Can you see his toes?

Some say this looks like the giants foot. Can you see his toes?

So I sat down for a break and looked at my feet...

So I sat down for a break and looked at my feet…

Kris is like a kid in a candy store with all the rocks.

Kris is like a kid in a candy store with all the rocks.

Pretty girl on the pretty rocks!

Pretty girl on the rocks

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Climb at your own risk. No signs telling you to be careful. They expect you to have common sense.

Climb at your own risk. No signs telling you to be careful. They expect you to have common sense.

The Atlantic is fierce here.

The Atlantic is fierce here.

The other side where not too many go due to severe chilly wind.

The other side where not too many go due to severe chilly wind.

View of Giant's Causeway from our hotel.

View of Giant’s Causeway from our hotel.

We drove around a bit and explored the countryside. The roads are narrow and the drop-offs are steep.

We drove around a bit and explored the countryside. The roads are narrow and the drop-offs are steep.

Great tour but no pictures allowed inside.Gotta protect the recipes.

Great tour but no pictures allowed inside.Gotta protect the recipes.

 

Toured the Old Bushmills Distillery. The young lady was our guide and the young man tended the bar at the end of the tour. We sampled a wee bit of whiskey sold only in Ireland from the distillery. A little goes a long way...

Toured the Old Bushmills Distillery. The young lady was our guide and the young man tended the bar at the end of the tour. We sampled a wee bit of whiskey sold only in Ireland from the distillery. A little goes a long way…

We checked out a few beaches along the coast but it was too cold for a dip in the ocean.

We checked out a few beaches along the coast but it was too cold for a dip in the ocean.

The beaches are quite nice. More basalt and lots of chalk rock too!

The beaches are quite nice. More basalt and lots of chalk rock too.

Explored the ruins of Dunlace Castle.

Explored the ruins of Dunlace Castle.

The castle had an excellent defensive position. Three sides sea and one really hard way in from land.

The castle had an excellent defensive position. Three sides sea and one really hard way in from land.

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Definitely a spectacular view if you lived there.

Definitely a spectacular view if you lived there.

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And then it was time to go south.

And then it was time to go south.

Back on the road knockin' about Ireland...

Back on the road knockin’ about Ireland…

We drove through Belfast but didn’t stop to tour because our goal was to get to the Boyne Valley and visit Newgrange before we ended our tour of Ireland in Dublin.

In the next post I’ll share the pictures of the passage tombs or more fittingly, the ancient temples that are older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Constructed about 3,200 B.C. the mounds are only by guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre on the south side of the river Boyne. We were blessed and made one of the last tours of the day.

So till then,

Karen