February 25, 2010

Dublin- Day 3

Walking over a bridge to get to Newgrange

Reconstructed sidewall of Newgrange

Entrance stone w/ entrance behind

In front of another stone at side of mound

View of the Irish countryside

We woke up on our third day and headed to where the tour would leave for Newgrange.  We took a shuttle bus with 3 other people to Newgrange, which was about an hour outside Dublin.

Access to Newgrange is restricted to people visiting through the visitor center.  We took a shuttle from the center with a group of about 25 people to see the actual mound.  During summer months, it is so crowded that you have to wait for a few hours to even get on a shuttle.  Once we arrived at the mound, we had a tour guide who described the area and history and then led us into the passage...

Newgrange is a passage tomb of Brú na Bóinne.  Newgrange was built in such a way that at dawn on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, a narrow beam of sunlight for a very short time illuminates the floor of the chamber at the end of the long passageway.  It was originally built between c. 3100 and 2900 BC and rediscovered in 1699 AD.  Due to natural shifting of the soil, it was in disrepair and restored in 1962.  A few hundred years of graffiti had occured before the restoration and that graffiti is still there.  Let me tell you, is is strange to see graffiti that is 200 years old and with such care that the people took enough time to write their name and the year in massive stone with a "Times New Roman" type font (complete with all of the little accents at each letter).

The passage through the dark doorway has a few new lights mounted so you can see where you are walking.  The passage is very narrow and requires that you duck a bit in parts and walk sideways in parts ini between giants stones.  You finally get to a small domed opening that has a few cave like niches with carved stones, may have been ceremonial alcoves.  We weren't allowed to take photos inside.  The guide turned off the lights and they were able to mimic the solstice with a light by the entry.  It got really dark in there and with 25 people in a small space, we were packed in like sardines.  It was kind of fun!  We had a bit to squeeze around people and take a turn about the "room" and then we walked back outside.

We took our shuttle bus back to Dublin after we looked around the center's museum.

Logan in a basket

How did he get here?  He wasn't in Dublin.  
Logan loves sitting on or in things that were not meant to be used that way.  He is just like his mother used to be.  Two nights ago he was helping Nathan with a screw driver and trying to fix things with him, so he must be just like his daddy, too.

1 comment:

The Love Doctor said...

They have historic graffiti like that in Mammoth Cave - it is weird to see it so carefully written - a far cry from a scrawled 'bango skank was here'