Ever heard the expression: the hills have eyes? In this week’s #ShortList that expression could be taken quite literally as we look at legends of giants – traditional ways of explaining how things in nature came to be. Everything has a genesis story, a story told of its creation – even the hills…!
Three Sisters, Katoomba, Australia
Legend tells of three beautiful sisters who were transformed into stone by the tribal witch doctor for their own safety during times of war and conflict. The witch doctor would have reversed the magic following the end of the conflict, but he himself was killed. To this day, the three sisters remain petrified against the backdrop of the beautiful Blue Mountains.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Nadi, Fiji
A gargantuan green giant rests above beautiful gardens of topical flowers. The shape of the mountain looming overhead gave the impression of a snoozing man and so the legend of the sleeping giant was born.
Giant’s Causeway, Ballycastle, Northern Ireland
Finn McCool is a huge part of the Irish mythology, a giant who stood fifty-two and a half feet tall. It is said that he chased his Scottish rival following an argument and he threw stone columns forming the basalt column causeway that we see today.
Adam’s Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
This is a beautiful part of mythology where multiple religions converge in a shared acknowledgement and belief. Atop the mountain known as Adam’s Peak, a 1.8m (5ft 11in) footprint is believed to belong to Adam (the first man on Earth according to Christianity and Islam), or Buddha (according to Budhdhism), or Lord Vishnu (according to Hinduism). I’ve seen it and it was an amazing pilgrimage to the peak.
Hiked through the night up 5,500 steps to the summit of Adam's Peak to reach an altitude of 2,243m (with an accumulated ascent of more than 1,000m), this is the supposed place where Adam (or Buddha or Shiva, belief dependent) descended into the Garden of Eden. At the very top, you are surrounded by a sea of fluffy white clouds. Here I am ringing the bell just once to indicate how many times I have climbed this mountain. We heard many pilgrims ring 3 or more, even 16 times!
Uluru, Alice Springs, Australia
Australian Indigenous creation stories tell of a giant Rainbow Serpent who slithered across the plains to carve the rivers and shape the land. His resting place is what is known today as Uluru, the largest free-standing rock in the world.
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