Friday, May 6, 2011

Walking back in time...

roof box and tomb entrance
Today was another perfect Irish day, starting with a perfect Irish breakfast at Juno's Cafe.  Anne and I have officially become regulars! After breakfast we took the tram up to the bus station and started out for Drogheda, on our way to Newgrange.  It was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange is part of a complex of monuments built along a bend of the River Boyne known collectively as Brú na Bóinne.

kerbstone with spiral carvings
Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage there is an opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around December 21, the winter solstice.

The weather was beautiful for our day out and when we got back to Dublin, we made a beeline for Ryan's to get some Guinness and a beef and Guinness pie.  Alas, we forgot about it being Friday night, and by 4:45 pm Ryan's was completely packed.  So we trotted down to Juno's for another one of their famous organic beef burgers and a bottle of their house red, which was very good. I may never eat another hamburger after consuming the perfection that is Juno's burger!

River Boyne
Tonight we pack up our luggage and make ready for our departure to Cork.  Tomorrow morning we will stop by Trinity College's Old Library to have a peek at the book of Kells, before checking out and heading to Cork City. The Book of Kells  is celebrated for its lavish decoration. The manuscript contains the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin), in a bold and expert version of the script known as "insular majuscule". 

Signing off now to pack and make ready for tomorrow's big adventure!