Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Last Day in Ireland

Tomorrow we fly home. It has been a wonderful two weeks. We've seen a lot, had great experiences, and overall are very happy we came. But two weeks of nonstop touring is a lot! This is one of the first places we've travelled to in many years that we didn't have someone to visit while here.

Fortunately, we planned for our last two nights to be in a B&B in Swords, the town closest to the airport. It will make a short easy trip in the morning to return our car and check in for our 11:25 flight. Today we went north to see the Bru na Boinne visitor centre, from where it is possible to visit several Stone Age monuments. We went to Newgrange, a circular burial mound on the top of a small hill. It is in the middle of farmland, so it was a bit roundabout to get there. We shouldn't have followed our GPS, which took us very near the monument, but we had to go another 20 kilometers around to get to the actual entrance.

This burial mound has been very well preserved. It was discovered by modern people in 1699 and taken over as a national monument in the 1880s. We went inside to the center room, where about 25 of us were able to stand. There are three alcoves with large stone basins, where some cremated human remains were found. The structure has been dated to about 3200 B.C., a thousand years before the pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. The structure is build of overlapping huge stones that were brought more than 20 miles to this location.

Walkway into the visitors' centre

River Boyne from walking bridge

View of the monument
In the photo below you can see the entrance with the decorated stone in front. The entrance is low; adults have to stoop to enter. The slit above the lintel allows the sun to penetrate completely into the center of the structure for five days surrounding the winter solstice.

Entry way with decorated megalith

Closer look at the stone

Another area nearby

A structure off to the side

Looking in the passageway; no photos allowed inside

A large circle of low stones nearby

A view from the hill

A lovely old tree on the hill

Can you tell we aren't in the USA?

Country road again

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please send me your thoughts about my posts.