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Published: July 29th 2013
Most of today was a travel day leaving Callan in the South and driving north of Dublin to the Newgrange monument or passage tomb which we had read about and thought it was a must-see.
After a few hiccups getting the right road off the Dublin Ring Road we arrived at the Visitor Centre and got tickets for the next tour. The site is little distance away so buses were available to take everyone to the site then get shown the tomb. Newgrange is the best known Irish passage tomb and the most impressive. I don't know the size but it's huge with huge rocks all around the base and smaller ones above forming the walls. After being rediscovered the plundered burial mound was rebuilt on the outside. The inside has remained intact for more than 5000 years and is older than the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge - that's an impressive age. It is one of more than 40 mounds in the area but only 3 are of significance and the rest are babies. At the door of the mound is a huge carved rock and a door with a roof box through which the mid-winter sun penetrates into
the chamber and marks the shortest day of the year. The construction is quite unique with very large rocks placed to hold the next layer up in place until a cap rock is reached, then the whole is covered with soil. Since we had limited time we did not visit Knowth or Dowth mounds. The valley of the Boyne is quite unique in having these monuments or tombs, but it is also the valley where the Battle of the Boyne took place. The Visitor Centre has excellent descriptions and diagrams to show how life was during the megalithic age. The main reception desk was interesting too as it had fossils in it of corals, bivalves, a crab claw and much more.
Following our visit to Newgrange we went back to Dublin to drop the rental car off at the airport then got a taxi into the city to the hotel. We then got a Hop On-Hop Off bus and did a tour of the city to get oriented and to help decide what we might do tomorrow - our last day of our holiday.
For dinner we spied a bar with Guiness and Steak pie on the menu
The full view
A full view from further away to fit in the entire monument
so decided to dine there. At 9pm a band was playing Irish music so we waited until they arrived and listened for an hour before heading back to the hotel. The band was great, especially the flute/whistle player. He really made the music sing.
As usual the weather has been it's usual self - it's raining, it's not raining, it's raining, there's a thunderstorm, it's sunny, it's raining! 😊 Did I mention the weather??
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