Saturday, March 26, 2011


Day Three- Newgrange

**Everywhere we turn, there are sheep. It's become a game. We randomly yell out "Sheep!" or "Cow!" or "Baby Sheep!", as if we've never seen these animals before in our life. It's ridiculous and so much fun. **

Just North of Dublin is one of the oldest ancient relics still standing. Older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids. The tombs at Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth are something everyone should see before they die. Just the thought that Stone Age man made these amazing and precise astrological artifacts is mind blowing. Even more, the landscape is breathtaking. It should go without saying that we get lost. Let me back up a bit for a second.

There is a saying amongst my circle of friends as well as my family, "Never doubt me". I always speak the truth and only speak what I know to be the truth. Am I sometimes wrong? Sure, who isn't. But, 9 times out of 10 I'm right. So, even though the street we're on hasn't listed a sign in miles I am still right in thinking we're going the right way. Getting places is interesting with two opposing personalities, lets just leave it at that.

When we finally make it to Brú na Bóinne (the visitors center). Our tour guide is amazing. He has a very dry humor we found delightful. You climb 2m up into the tomb and he places us around like human tetris in the chamber. Once arranged, he tells us how during the Winter Solstice, at dawn; the sun hits the entrance to the tomb and illuminates the interior like fire. There is a demonstration, hence our tetris organizing, played out with a light bulb. I actually get goosebumps. I love this place. Have you ever just felt connected to something? Sometimes its something you never thought you would connect with. Maybe it's a piece of your heritage. Whatever it is, I hope it happens for each of you at least once. I didn't want to leave. My sister asked if she could lie down in the tomb to see out the keystone set above the door. If we weren't afraid to get dirty (not us!), sure. YEA!!! I believed him when he said our feet were now at level with our head outside, but when you lay down and see little heads bobbing past, through a corridor that your brain tells you you should not be able to see out of, it's amazing. I only wish we could have taken pictures.

Ireland is not known for its motorways. There are a few, mostly from Dublin to Belfast, Dublin to Cork, and Dublin to nowhere. It's the last one we're on while trying to get to Galway. Unfortunately, it's partially closed and we get lost in Athelone. To make matters worse, we're hungry. Thanks to the fine folks at Leahy's Grocery in Navan we find our way around the construction. Truly lovely people, who invited us into their office to print and draw out better maps for us. Damn GPS! We are on the highlighted route! We come to find later, that Athelone is the apparent joke of the country- all those who live in the interior are "un-sound". this becomes a theme for the trip.

Finally get to Galway. We're staying in Salthill just outside the city center and near the water. The Ard Mhuire B&B is to be our home base for two days and the room and proprietor are both lovely. Had it been warmer, we could have walked to the Bay. We head into "downtown" Salthill for dinner at The Oslo, a nice micro-brewery and restaurant along the Bay. I had the lentil burger with fries and their house ale- yummy! Afterward, we head into Galway to the bar district and stop at The Quays which I found out later is a bit famous and in all the guidebooks. You wouldn't know it going in though which was nice. What I mean to say is, it was busy but proportionately more local than tourist. We met some nice gentlemen from Sligo who told us all about the "un-sound" people of the interior and to avoid Limerick, aka Stab City. Coming from Murderville myself, I wasn't worried; but better safe than sorry. Once the live music started (7 nights a week), the place got really packed and we left to crash back at the B&B.

Tomorrow: Princess Bride and St. Pat's

No comments:

Post a Comment