Another place that I have been to while in Ireland, is Newgrange. My friend, Edward, came with us on the trip. You might remember him from our adventures in Iceland and Scotland. Newgrange is an ancient burial ground that is older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge in England. The drive wasn’t very long in comparison to other locations I have been to. After getting out of the car, we got our pamphlets and waited to be let down to the bus. I had bought a slice of fruit cake with frosting; it was good. I saw birds in the trees, so I tossed a few little pieces in front of me. A small orange bird hopped up and took some cake, then it came back again, and again. Another bird came and hopped next to my shoe to eat, like it was daring the other bird to bother it next to the cake throwing giant. After the guide let us through, we walked far maybe five minutes. We got to see a river, grass field, and rocks and trees. We then hopped onto the bus and went up hills to get to the site were Newgrange was.
There were cows and sheep grazing in the fields. After we got to the top, the guide split us into two groups. One group would be brought inside while the other group walked around. then the second group would go inside while the first group went around. While I went around the mound, I took pictures of a few carvings. The weather was nice, so I wasn’t cold while we walked, which was nice. Newgrange has a width of 76 meters, the highest point is 12 meters high. Since the end of its excavation in 1975, people have been able to visit the site. Some people carved their names into the stone. In front of the entrance is the “entrance stone” that has the most engravings out of all of the stones. Above the door is a small window, as you walk up, the floor is at the level of the window. This lets in a ray of light that goes through to the end of the tunnel.
We were let into the mount, and the tunnel was small, and the ceiling was low. I was the perfect size for the path, but quite a few people had to duck or walk sideways to go through. The people back then must have been really short. The guide had us all squeeze together so we could fit. Then, the lights were turned off and someone shone a light to imitate what is was like on the solstice. We didn’t get to stay inside for very long, in twenty minutes we were sent back outside. When we left to go to the car, I tossed the last few pieces of cake to the birds.
If you decide to go to Newgrange yourself, there is an open farm nearby that you can visit, as well a couple of other ancient sites which you can get tickets for while you are there. You can even enter a lottery to go to Newgrange on winter solstice. The twenty winners each get to bring a friend too. Until the next post!