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Published: September 6th 2009
Knowth neolithic monument
Great Breakfast at the College, light and airy. Picked up the car from the carpark. I will never complain about Adelaide carparks again. The carpark had 7 inches either side of the car, and shorter than the Ford Focus's length. Took a number of back and fro's to extract it (almost needed a can opener). Left the park and drove in circles until the gps could find a satellite (close buildings, very high, satellites low on the horizon). Drove to Newgrange which was particularly hard to find. Another national treasure 60km from Dublin you have to know all about before you can find it. The signposts for this place only started 1km before the turn off to the site, and in typical European style, have no distances on them, so you just drive into the ever shrinking road hoping it leads somewhere. The visitors centre is excellent. Booked onto two tours and boarded the bus. First stop was knowth. This is the biggest earth monument in Europe with two opposing passageways 34m and 35m long. This neolithic monument is older than the pyramids. Earth collapse prevented the Europeans, Christians, Normans from desicrating the site for 4000 years, so they have more
Satellite mounds at Knowth
available to learn from than the pyramids.
Continued onto Newgrange named by the monks who were given the land, which is their term for land outside their homeland. Inside the central chamber we were treated to a simulation of summer solstace. The light strikes the floor on the inner sanctum for just minutes. The passage is crafted to fashion the sliver of light perfectly to the chamber floor. We have discovered from the floor markings that the earths tilt is wobbling in a cycle lasting 26000 years, as currently the light is hitting the floor around 17cm off centre.
Wanted to find the third monument (after leaving the visitors centre), but poor signage made me run short of time, so gave up.
After driving back to Dublin I visited the Dublin Castle, Chester Beatty Library, St Stephens Green, Shopping Alleys, Markets, Ron Blacks (to quench a thirst) and then Harry's for dinner.
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