Grand Tour of Ireland 2012 Day 4: Newgrange, Monasterboice, and Hill of Tara

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June 25th 2012
Published: March 25th 2013
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Neolithic Tombs are Awesome!

We headed over to Newgrange today! This is the awesome sight of one of the biggest neolithic tombs in all of Ireland. It is a passage tomb located in the middle of hills and green pastured farmland. My first reaction to approaching the tomb was complete fascination with how green the grass was. Emerald Isle indeed! Not only was it green though but thick as well. I am used to the shabby brown dying summer grass of Texas. This is a welcomed change.

They only let a few people into the tomb at a time and it can get a bit claustrophobic in there but it is well worth the visit inside. Stone monoliths line the entrance. They are decorated with swirling patterns. Once inside they do not allow you to take pictures out of respect for the dead buried inside. There are no longer any remains but I am sure there are plenty of ghosts and energies that linger. The tomb is well-constructed with each stone slab fitting neatly into place. They turn off the light for a minute so you can experience the total darkness within.

Walking out felt like a birthing experience, walking out into the light. I can see how it would impress people, especially the old peoples that used to live here.

After a tour of the visitors center we headed over to Monasterboice for the second part of our trip. Monasterboice is the site of an ancient monastery and cemetery dominated by a tower. It may look like ruins but it is still a functioning cemetery and is well taken care of. They have one of the biggest Celtic Crosses in Ireland and the detail on the cross are outstanding! The tower is also well-preserved. If you walk around it 7 times you will be married within a year!

Our next stop was at the fabled Hill of Tara, the center of Celtic and Druid Ireland. We walked the hills and sampled the clovers. We enjoyed the view of the surrounding countryside. We made a brief stop by the local fairy tree before we headed off back to Dublin. This was more of the type of day I hope I have the next several days!

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