It has been a month since I left for my trip to Ireland. And I wish I could go back right now. There was so much I wasn’t able to see and explore, leaving only a yearning to return.
Instead of writing just one post about my trip, I wanted to dedicate one post per sight and/or event from the ten days I spent. They were so magical and I have so many pictures I want to share with you.
So, let us begin!
July 13 – 14, 2018
Flight and Newgrange
On Friday, our Aer Lingus flight was scheduled to leave at 5:15pm. Not wanting to risk a hold up in security because of lines, my friend and I arrived at the airport fairly early and spent a few hours hanging out by the doorway. The flight was delayed but not too badly.
Now, here is the thing. Ireland is 5 hours ahead than DC. Because of the length of the flight, we would be landing in Dublin, Ireland around 7am their time. Aer Lingus was great with their meals and in-flight entertainment. They even supplied us with little pillows, blankets, and headphones. After everyone had finished eating their dinner, the flight crew turned the lights down so everyone could try and get some shut eye.
Unfortunately, sleep didn’t appear. I have flown a few times, and not once have I ever been able to sleep on an airplane. It’s even rare for me to sleep in any type of vehicle. In other words, we landed in Ireland and I had been awake already for almost 24 hours [I normally wake up at 3:45am].
After setting up our phones and finding the rest of our group, we immediately went to pick up our rental car and make our way to the first half of our trip, Northern Ireland. But along the way, we made a stop at Newgrange, located in County Meath.
I had personally never heard of Newgrange before, but I knew sites like this were all over Ireland thanks to my previous research. When we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed we had to walk on a beautiful sidewalk to the nearby facility.
Once we were able to purchase our tickets for the tour, we rode a small bus to the site. Even from the bus stop, my heart stopped. The Newgrange monument was beautiful, as was the view around it. Our tour guide was very informative and humorous as she described the history of the site.
As we approached, my group immediately noticed the entrance stone sitting at the forefront of the structure which contained Neolithic rock art that matched my tattoo. I was entirely engrossed in the stories and information our guide was telling us and was even more excited to be able to go inside. Unfortunately, I was not able to get photos of the artwork and structure inside.
While inside, our guide used lights within to even show us how the structure was built in alignment with the sun rising during the winter solstice. Not only that, but the site is ringed by a stone circle as well. This has left many to believe it was built for religious purposes. During the solstice, the sunlight enters through the ‘roof box’ above the entrance. It was a magical thing to witness, even though it was only artificial.
What is impressive is that stones that were used to build the site were taken from as far away as the Mournes and the Wicklow Mountains. After seeing how large some of those pieces of stone were, I really wonder how they really moved the stones to the location of the site.
Needless to say, I would highly suggest you add it to your destination list should you choose to travel to Ireland.
After a bus ride back and eating lunch at the small facility near the ticket booth, we made our way back to the rental car to continue our journey. By the time we started our drive again, I had been awake well past 24 hours. So in a rare occurrence, my friend and I fell asleep in the car. A quick power nap while our friends drove to the town of Carrickfergus located in Northern Ireland.
That exploration is for another day…Stay tuned.
The Keep B&B
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