Thursday, 3 April 2014

I landed in Ireland bright and early on the 21st of March. I was going to be living in my friends house, which is just outside Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. It was much colder than I was imagining it would be so when the fire was lit in the afternoon I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours (jetlag could have had something to do with it also).
Mostly my stay involved visiting my friend’s extended family member. Which was a nice way to see the countryside and get to know the locals. For those who don’t know, Irish roads are very hilly and windy which resulted in me feeling rather car sick most of the time. This also meant I didn’t get vary many pictures of the countryside.

I did go to two tourist attractions; Caba Castle and Newgrange.
The abandon castles throughout the country fascinated me, so when I got to visit and have lunch in one I was in awe. I was like a child in the car as we drove up to it – face to the glass trying to get a view of everything. The castle is mostly surrounded by a golf course and inside is a cafĂ©/restaurant, function rooms and lodging. While we waited for lunch I couldn’t stop imagining living in a place like this. They decorated the place nicely with large portraits of noblemen (I’m assuming), animal heads and suits of amour.

Newgrange was a place I have never heard of but feel that I should have. It is a 5,000-year-old processional tomb. There is a door on the east with a small entrance above it that allows light to fill the interior chamber during winter solstice. Its older than Stonehenge, yet never heard of it. From the outside it does kind of look like a mound of dirt but on the is where its truly amazing what the people achieved. Stone brought from miles away were piled in a pyramid shape with little rocks filling in the gaps. In the tallest area the ceiling is 3m high and the whole thing is completely waterproof. There is no mortar just rocks and dirt. They also carved drawings or symbols into the rocks and carved a giant granite bowl- this is before metal was even invented!
There is not much known about Newgrange except when it was created (carbon dated) and when it was rediscovered (300 years ago), pretty much everything else can be left up to your own interpretation.

The Entrance

Checklist of Irish things:
Tried Guinness – yuck!
Ate a lot of spuds
Drank a lot of tea- averaging 4 cups a day
Discovered Mi Wadi- yum
Bought 2 pairs of Irish socks
Bought and Ireland jumper


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