Newgrange and Knowth – Neolithic wonders

We got up early and met our taxi driver from the airport. He took us back to Dublin Airport to pickup our car. Then it was an exciting ride as the guys adjusted to sitting on the right side and driving to the left of the road, oh boy!  They did so well though that Sally and I never noticed any difference. Now finding the scarce roadsigns before entering the circle was a different matter!
We were headed to the historic Boyne River Valley, the site of some critical battles in Ireland’s tragic history. Our objective, the Neolithic gravesites of Knowth and Newgrange.
We bought a pass at the Visitor’s Center so that we could take in both sites in one day.
The desk clerk said “Just head out that door to get on the bus and please hurry. The bus is leaving in 10 minutes.” However,we all needed a quick bathroom break first! We are old you know, all but Sally. Sally and I finished first and sprinted out the door, worried that we would miss the bus, down the trail we hurried,through the woods and over a bridge…but all we saw was cows and the River Boyne! By now, the guys had caught up to us, we had to hurry up yet another trail, through another building and there at last were the buses about to leave! But,we made it!Day 2

We got up early and met our taxi driver from the airport.He took us back to Dublin Airport to pickup our car. Then it was an exciting ride as the guys adjusted to sitting on the right and driving to the left of the road, oh boy!  They did so well though that Sally and I never noticed any difference. Now finding the scarce roadsigns was a different matter!

The sites give you a personal guide to step you through their ages and to relate their history and they do their job very well. Then,you are allowed to wander around on your own to take it all in,even to touch the huge guardian boulders. I didn’t realize the sites were inhabited from the Neolithic Age through the 1600s AD.
The bottom of the Knowth site is ringed with large ( multi ton) granite stones, all covered in geometric carvings. These carvings were created over 5000 years ago in an age that lacked metal tools,yet the marks are still clearly visable. Decorative, symbolic swirls, triglyphs and concentric circles decorate the surfaces of them.

We were taken inside at both sites. These were not hills that men dug a tunnel through, but were flat ground. Stones were stacked up to form caves with no mortor support and then it was all covered by tons of earth. The guide pointed out at Knowth that no water ever seeps into the structures, they are so compact!
At Newgrange, they take you into the heart of the stone “cathedral” and they turn off the lights and describe the Winter Soltice’s arrival. As they talk about the event, they slowly turn on a light at ground level and have it grow brighter as it rises up the backwall. You cannot help but be filled with awe, I was so overwhelmed and happy to be there that I cried!
Once done at Newgrange, we beat a hasty retreat for the car and on the road we went. We attempted a stop at Craghavon for lunch but after 12 times around their circles, we were back at Circle 1. So, we gave up and we ended up at Fryer Tuck’s for a fast food lunch next to the M1 highway.

 

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