County Antrim, Northern Ireland - Giant's Causeway; Fitchburg, MA - Coggshall Park
There are three sites across the globe that are connected to each other through their stories. These sites are the mountains of Iceland, Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, and Coggshall Park in Massachusetts. Each of these locations is unique for their beauty and the heritage that is preserved as a result of the appreciation for the sites.
Written in Iceland, a saga titled “Thidrandi Whom the Goddesses Slew” that takes place in the country and is about the emergence of Christianity. The main character, Thidrandi, is killed by the goddesses as Christianity is ushered into the country. The saga reads: “He heard likewise the noise of riding from south into the home-field, and there too were nine women, all in bright raiment, and on white horses.” The women are the goddesses and the white horses represent the beauty of having Christianity come to the country. The dark mountains in Iceland create a feeling of supernatural people hidden in them, similar to the saga. Iceland has become a tourist attraction for travelers looking to seek out natural beauty and for those wanting to learn about more legends of the land.
The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland has its own legend of the natural world. This legend is about Finn McCool creating the landscape by throwing rocks at a giant, creating the unique scenery. The legend says that McCool had a nemesis, a giant named Benandonner, whom he would shout at across the water until the giant stormed over to Ireland. The photo shows the landscape that was apparently formed from the legend. Although people do not actually believe that it was formed by giant and McCool’s fight, the site does attract tourists every year who flock to see the popular spot and the natural beauty.
Coggshall Park is a nonprofit park that was created in Fitchburg Massachusetts for people to enjoy the natural scenery. This site has trails to walk and a lake that is surrounded by forests. This natural scenery is important to keep preserved as it is a piece of country in the middle of a bustling city filled with people who may not be able to get away to go to the country for long weekends.
The sites connect to each other as they are all beautiful, natural landscapes with stories to tell about their history. Iceland and Ireland are not far from each other and tell similar stories of supernatural beings in an otherwise natural place. Coggshall Park is not home to any kind of mystical beings, but it is home to the people of Fitchburg who use this location as a way for people to escape like the people who relay the tales of the mystical beings.
“Introduction.” The Giants Causeway Official Guide, www.giantscausewayofficialguide.com/.
“Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.” Guide to Iceland, guidetoiceland.is/travel-iceland/drive/reynisfjara.
“Thidrandi Whom the Goddesses Slew.” Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas, ed. Gwyn Jones, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 161–169.