Dublin part 2: ancient Ireland
When we had lunch in a pub on our first full day in Dublin, someone in our group suggested doing some kind of organised tour the next day. She had collected some flyers and passed them around. As soon as I saw the flyer of Mary Gibbon’s Newgrange Tours, I got SO excited! I learnt about Newgrange during classes in uni and the prospect of seeing this passage tomb in real life made me VERY excited! I had no idea it was so close to Dublin and would be a real possibility. Luckily, everybody was on board with the idea to do the tour so we made plans and got everything booked.
The next day, we walked to the pick-up point in downtown Dublin and settled into our seats on the big touristy bus. Mary Gibbons is an awesome storyteller who throws a lot of Irish humour into the mix. Our first stop was the Hill of Tara, the ancient centre of power in Ireland with royal, sacred and celtic significance. There weren’t a whole lot of structures to see, except for some stones. Still, the environment was beautiful and breathed of history. The views were amazing!
After the Hill of Tara we made our way to Newgrange, a passage tomb of over 5000 years old. I’d never seen that big of a burial monument and knowing something about it because of the classes I took in uni, I was in awe! We waited for our allocated time to go into the monument and I was so excited. Being inside the monument was an incredible experience. The guide was an archaeologist, a total bonus! Inside the monument lights were installed to show how the sunlight would enter the passage during the solstice and…wow, just wow. It was quiet and serene. I could feel the reverence for the people whose remains were placed in the mound, and for the people who built something so accurate and beautiful! The visit to Newgrange was the highlight of this trip for me.
A small bus took us from the Newgrange grounds to the visitor’s centre. We walked to the entrance of the visitor’s centre via a footbridge crossing the Boyne river. It had been a beautiful, sunny day. We were dropped off in the city centre of Dublin again, after which some of decided to close the day off with a drink in The Church, a bar located in…a church. What an interesting combination 😉
Here are some photos of that day. I have one more part to share, so stay tuned!