And then it was to Co. Clare to visit the Cliffs of Moher. This is the view from the hotel just outside Lisdoonvarna.
The view from my hotel room, a non-business trip, in Bunratty in Co. Clare in the West of Ireland. Lovely spot!
On the way back hom earlier today as I was driving through the Phoenix Park, I realised there was a meeting of the All Ireland Polo Club, so I had to take a picture of two. Here is the album at pix.ie.
The announcer said that it is the oldest Polo Club in Europe… really!?
Today it was the turn of Greystones. Unfortunately the weather didn’t help. It was very gray and with little light. I am still learning to use the camera, so there are some shots where I think the lack of light is quite noticeable. Please leave your comments
For those pf you that have never been here. Wicklow has a very different feeling to the rest of Ireland. I felt like I was travelling back in time and despite the fact that it was gray and miserable you had the special sensation of being on a seaside village far from here. As always, you can se more pictures on the pix.ie album.
Today’s stop of the Great Irish Tour of 2011 was Dublin. It started with a whirlwind visit to the National Museum at Collins Barracks to view an exhibition of Irish high crosses. Plaster of Paris replicas made at the end of the 19 century to showcase Ireland’s biggest contribution to medieval sculpture around the world. I’d only seen then cross in Drumcliff, and it is easy to forget how impressive an enormous these things are. It is a small exhibition with only a handful of replicas, but it is beautifully presented. Do go if you are around.
Then we had to have a good pint, so John Mulligan’s of Poolbeg St was the chosen location. One of the best places to have a pint of Guinness in Dublin!
Finally it was off to Dublin Castle for a guided tour of the place. Unfortunately, as it is being done up for the Queen’s visit next week, we could not see all of the rooms. We were still able to see the throne room though! One of the highlights was the exhibition of religious manuscripts at the Chester Beatty library behind the castle. It’s a must!
Then it was the turn of Newgrange. Even though Newgrange is the most famous of them all, there are 3 major passage tombs (Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange) and up to 37 satellite tombs. Newgrange is the better preserved of the 3, and you can get into the passage and experience travelling back in time.
It is mind blowing to think that these buildings were built over 5000 years ago, and in the case of Newgrange, it has remained watertight since then. If you have ever been to Ireland, you know how big an accomplishment this is.
Since I was last there, the archeologist have done an incredible amount of work on the site. Knowth is now more accessible, and you can even get inside the tomb, into a little chamber that was built in an area that was destroyed by the people from the Bronze Age, and while you can not get into the tomb itself, you can look down the passage, which is even longer than Newgrange. (See the image on the left here!)
Then came the turn of Newgrange, a truly magical place.
Newrange was covered for many centuries under a lot of soil. This kept it unharmed from the elements and specially from humans and is there for us all to enjoy. Older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids and just about an hour away from Dublin, it is one of those places that should be in anybody’s bucket list.
By the way, there is a lottery system to see who gets to be there for the Winter Solstice every year. Only 100 lucky people are chosen amongst about 30,000 applicants. So go there, put your name down, and best of luck!
As expected, it rained during ourvisit today. But not even the torrential rain can take the magic away!
Contrary to many other castles around Europe, Trim Castle is a maintained medieval ruin rather than a restored castle. For many years it was the centre of power in Ireland under the ruling of the De Lacy family.
Sadly, today it’s perhaps better known for having played an integral part in the filming of Braveheart.
Magnificent views of the Boyne, I highly recommend visiting it.
Next stop, Newgrange!