Monday, May 11, 2009

Ireland- Day 2

We're finally on our way out of Dublin and experiencing the beautiful green countryside that the Emerald Isle is known for. I've got to be honest with you, it reminded me of the rolling green hills of Wisconsin. The one difference, other than the rich, ancient history, is the stone fences and handsome hedges meandering along the roadways and hillsides. You don't see that in Wisconsin.

We rode an hour and a half on the top deck of a DD bus and just feasted on the beauty, often times catching a glimpse of the Irish Sea. When we got to Drogheda... just north of Dublin on the map... we called the taxi that would take us to our B&B.

When we booked our B&B, we just chose from a couple B&B's that Miranda had found online. Well, little did we know that across the valley from the Roughgrange Farm Bed & Breakfast was our first surprise. More about that later.

Our charming B&B was built in 1760. Yes, I actually slept in a bedroom that is older than the United States! We were the only ones staying at our B&B. Miranda had her own room... Randy & I had our own beds... and we all had our own electric mattress pads to adjust to our liking. Mmm, nice & toasty warm. Don't know if I told you, but Ireland is real cold!

The next morning we had the dining room to ourselves... and we had Irene all to ourselves. Irene and her husband own the working sheep farm along with their son and his family. It was so relaxing just to sit and hear her talk about the rich farm heritage and all the history surrounding the area.

Randy & I downed that entire pot of tea... so creamy smooth. And the breakfast was wonderful. The best part... a big bowl of fresh cut-up grapefruit chunks that were as sweet as can be.

I have never slept in a house so deafeningly quiet before... ever! And do you see the reason why? Check out the window sill. The walls are two feet thick!! The three of us slept 12 hours! Best sleep I ever had!

Do you see our surprise? We happened to be across the valley from Ireland's most famous Monument. Do you see the mound off in the distance from our B&B?

Newgrange Monument dates back to the Stone Age... over 5000 years ago! Be sure to click the link and read all about it.

Only 20 of us can fit inside the chamber. I was in awe of the fact that I was inside of something that is older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge! Yes, it was built 500 years before the Great Pyramids and more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge. People, that's OLD!

Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage of the Newgrange mound there is a opening called a roof-box.
On mornings around the winter solstice a beam of light penetrates the roof-box and travels up the 19 metre passage and into the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens so that the whole chamber is dramatically illuminated.

Thousands of people from all over the world sign up for the annual lottery drawing so they may be one of only a chosen few that could witness such a phenomenon every Winter Solstice around Dec. 21st. Many spend a fortune to come, only to be disappointed if it is a cloudy day. That's quite a gamble if you ask me.

After our tour, we leisurely made our way back to Dublin, only to stumble upon the oldest pub in Ireland. Another nice surprise! Truth be told, a couple other pubs vie for that distinction but we are pretty certain ours is the oldest! OK, so one of the oldest!
Anyway, what a way to end our trip... relaxing at a pub, sipping on Guinness & hard cider and eating real bad Irish food. Oh, funny story. So Randy hates meat loaf. Well, the burger he ordered was seriously meat loaf on a bun! And real bad meatloaf, cuz I happen to like meat loaf. But we sat there for a couple hours, laughing and reflecting on the past week and all that we had shared together. It was raining and cold outside. A couple older gents were jawing away at a nearby table and our hearts were happy and full. All the elements to a perfect ending, as our time on the enchanted Emerald Isle was coming to an end. Cheers!


Amy T Schubert said...

man oh man. I can't wait to go to Ireland. With Andrew. Really, I just can't wait to travel w/ Andrew.

NanAZ said...

I can't wait to go to Ireland too...maybe next year!

Lori said...

Thank you again for sharing this fabulous trip, a dream one of mine! Emolyn is so precious in her new pictures! have a fine week, love,Lori