These posts never seem like they’re almost a week apart, but time flies when you’re having fun!
On Saturday I went to Croke Park and got the pleasure of seeing a double header of hurling and Irish football. To my surprise, they were very similar in how they were played with scoring, moving the ball, and quickness. Dublin got crushed in hurling to Tipperary, who I later found out were number one in the nation. Next was Dublin vs. Tyrone in Irish football which had almost triple the following as hurling. That game was concluding with Dublin losing by two points and they gave an additional six minutes of game play. Dublin was able to get the two points to end in a tie. It was very exciting but absolutely freezing. You can’t really see much of the rain coming down, but I still had a grand time. For next time though, I will certainly bring a blanket and food. I saw so many people with backpacks with tons of snacks. I just assumed that you couldn’t but now I know!
Sunday was a down day to get some homework done, but more importantly get the planning done for Monday’s excursion.
The main attraction to go see was Newgrange. It’s a passage tomb that dates back 5000 years, which makes it older than the pyramids. This was something I read about before I left for Ireland and was very excited to see. I told Mycayla on the very first day that I wanted to visit this site.
When we got to the site, it was quite a ways in the distance as you can see from the first picture. So we had to walk a bit and then a bus took us the rest of the way. It was a beautiful Irish day but it was extremely windy.
I didn’t get a good picture of the mound closer because it is very large. And sadly photography inside wasn’t allowed. But I can honestly say that it was definitely worth checking out. The inside was extremely small to my surprise which really let my expectations down. However, this mound is still standing over 5000 years and what really made the experience was the lighting of the inside. The farmers who built this, estimated to take from 50-80 years (average life expectancy was 25-35 years of age) which means this was over at least three generations. There is a hole above the front entrance that allows light to come all the way in (19 meters) during the winter solstice for about 20 mins. It may not sound all that impressive, but again this was 5000 years ago and they had such a focus on the sun that they made this great structure in accordance to it. It really stopped and made me think about life for awhile.
The first picture is right outside of the entrance and the next is an aerial shot I got on Google. The last is of the Shannon, Mycayla and myself in front of Newgrange.
So to make the most out of going up an hour + trip to see Newgrange, I tried to find more things to do in Drogheda. To my dismay, there wasn’t a whole lot to see. In the city itself, there was a bunch of old structures that I walked around to see, but nothing worth spending a long period of time to see.
St. Peter’s Church, Millmount Fort, Magdalene Tower, and the St. Laurence Gate. St. Peter’s Church was astounding. I took some pictures of the inside but it didn’t capture it at all.
The last stop for the day was to The High Crosses. We took a bus that was going to be about 20 mins to drop us off about 25 mins away from our location but the bus driver forgot to stop. So we got off at the last bus stop and got a free ride back down. It was neat to see some more of the cities north of Drogheda, but it took an additional hour and a half.
We finally got dropped off and then walked to the High Crosses as the sun was setting. It was neat to see, but I’m not sure if it was worth the hassle to get there. There was some incredible crosses to see at this graveyard, but it was quite out of the way.
We walked back towards Drogheda and stopped at the closest establishment to call a taxi. I had my first Guinness in over a week while we waited and boy it was good.
My suggestion for anyone that has the opportunity to see Newgrange is to have it be a stopping point from the way to or from Belfast. I haven’t been to Belfast yet to give my opinion on it, but I’ve only heard great things.
Even though the day wasn’t as exciting or adventurous as my previous journeys, it was a good learning experience and I made the most out of an area that certainly isn’t visited much. This weekend, which has already begun since its Thursday night, I am helping throw a party for a new friend from Sweden. I told everyone that I’d make jello shots since nobody has had one before. I didn’t realize that it was an American thing! Going off of American things, I also bought cups and balls for beer pong, and possibly boom cup if there’s a big turn out. I’ve taught a number of drinking card games to my Irish roommate and his lads and they’ve loved everyone.
I’m going Irish dancing tomorrow evening and maybe will take another day trip to…who knows!