Monday, October 24, 2011

Exploring, part 2

After our grey, wet day South of Dublin at Glendalough, we decided to go in the opposite direction, up North to County Meath.

Our destination was a place called Newgrange, which is a prehistoric site built several thousand years ago. There is a complex of tombs which are buried under very carefully constructed mounds, each rock placed so precisely that the cavern inside is perfectly watertight. To get to the tombs, one must walk down a narrow, dark tunnel. Once a year, on the winter solstice, the tomb is illuminated by a single shaft of light pouring down the corridor (if the sun comes out at all, that is). Stonehenge has got nothing on this place.

The most beautiful detail for me was the stone work. The site has been carefully reassembled with the original stones (the whole place was buried for millennia until, naturally, one day a cow farmer came along and dug in just the right place (and I mean that literally - he just happened to start digging immediately over the entrance to the tomb). The front of the tomb, which faces the sunrise, is walled with bright white stones; as you wander around the outside, more and more black rocks are mixed in, until you get around the back, where all the rocks are black. This is the shadow, you see. Incredible.

Needless to say, it was a pretty remarkable place. Jorge was extremely impressed that a) I took him someplace so cool in our first weekend, and b) I managed to find the place eventually. You see, my internal GPS seems to be in need of a bit of a tune-up these days. We spent a lot of time in the first two weeks we were here driving in circles, turning into one-way streets the wrong way, and bickering. Now I just leave the navigation to Jorge, and keep my mouth shut when he gets us lost, because inevitably, we turn up right where we intended, with no clue how we got there (I refer you to the previous post for that little magic trick).

And check it out - the first family photo I think we have taken in about 6 months!


Jesse said...

Yeah for the family photo! Newcastle is gorgeous...

Unknown said...

For some reason, when I saw that first picture, my first reaction was to think it looks like Jorge, Milo, and a leprechaun that Jorge pulled out from under a toadstool.

Maybe it's the striped socks. :-)