Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008 Ireland Trip - 11 Sep 08 - Part I

Our last full day in Ireland was just that - very full. We first headed north of Dublin to visit Bru na Boinne - the name is based on the Boyne river, which is shown here in this image.

We found the visitors center and purchased tickets to visit Newgrange and Knowth. You can only access those two sites by bus. This is the queue to the bus loading dock.

This is Newgrange, a passage tomb that is aligned with the dawn sunlight of the winter solstice.

The tomb is faced with quartz rock, lined at the base with large curbstones that have neolithic engravings, and there are monolithic stones that surround the tomb.

A close-up of the white quartze and curb stones.

This is the passage entrance. Theres a window up above the portal and that is where the winter soltice light enters the tomb passage.

Beautiful engravings on the portal stone.

One of the monoliths in front of the entrance.

The monoliths are dotted around the circumference of the tomb site.

These are markers for where wooden logs would have been placed. The site is full of ceremonial configurations of stones and wood.

The guy on the left was our tour guide. You have to enter the tomb on a particular schedule and you only get to be inside the chamber for a few minutes. They take 12 people in at a time.

The passage is very narrow. Overweight or claustrophobic people are recommended to not enter. No photos are allowed inside, but there are three chambers, all with some artwork. There's also a demonstration of what the solstice light beam is like.

There's another small passage tomb out in that tilled field.

There are bridges over the curbstones for access into the passage.

Close-up of the portal stone.

One of the ceremonial sites on the ground.

It was another very rainy day, but the sky made a fantastic back drop for the tomb.

Info to read about.

A map showing the other neolithic sites in the area.

Preservation efforts of the tomb to take care of the neolithic art on the curb stones.

More neolith art....



I never did see a sign about this small structure.

More preservation efforts.

This is the backside of Newgrange. It's definitely worth a visit. This tour was one of our major highlights of the Ireland trip.

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