I posted two days, guys, day 4 is the post just after this one, so start with that one first so you’re still going in order! And shout out to Parker–I’m not going to be able to post any of my pics because I didn’t think I’d be allowed to on my hostel computers, therefore I didn’t bring the cords to plug my camera into the CPU. If one of my hostels down the road has SD slots, I’ll get some uploaded. If not, you’ll have to wait until I get back. I will take pictures of the exit signs for you lol 😛
March 29 1230 pm
I woke up too late this morning thanks to a little thing called daylight savings time which the EU apparently practices much later than the States. To be honest, it may have been a blessing in disguise (though I was mad as hell this morning) because I’ve spent two hours wandering the streets of Drogheda, hoping against hope that the Tourist Information office will open after noon. Damn Sundays in damn Catholic countries.
To begin with my morning, I ate my free breakfast with Rhiannon again and shot off a quick email to Andrew before walking to the Busaras station and grabbing the 930 bus to Drogheda. The drive was incredible. There is no beauty on earth that I’ve yet seen to rival the beauty of rural Ireland. Free standing Irish homes are magnificent. You know the little cottage at the top left hand corner of my blog, next to the title? Yeah, at least 50 percent of Irish homes resemble that cottage. It’s like I’m in heaven, lol. Then the rest of the homes that don’t resemble my favorite form of housing still don’t look much like American homes. They look like them only a tiny bit, but they are still like nothing I’ve ever seen.The bus was going too fast for me to get many pictures, but I think I managed a few.
I’m sure it’s not true across the board, but it seems on the surface that the Irish take immense pride in their homes. Each lawn is perfectly manicured, each house sparkling, no peeling paint, only groomed ivy creeping up the earthy tones of the walls. For part of the hour ride, we were riding within view of the ocean and the surroundings were absolutely stunning. Rolling hills falling down into water as far as the eye can see, dotted with wonderful homes and farms, as well as scatterings of sheep and cows napping in the sunshine. And the sunshine! The way it sparkles on the grass!
Then there was the tractor warehouse. There was no name on the building, but I’m pretty damn sure those were John Deeres parked in rows on the yard!
Drogheda is exactly what I expected a small Irish town to be. It’s not small really, it’s small relative to Dublin, but in reality it’s probably comparable to Bowling Green in size. When I finally found the tourist office and discovered it was closed, I raged inside for a bit, but then using streetside maps of the city, I managed all on my own WITHOUT a hand held map, to visit some of the historic places here within city limits.
Here’s the bummer–If the tourist office doesn’t open at one like I’m hoping, I’m not going to see the sights I came here for, namely the Hill of Tara, Monasterboice, and Old Mellifont Abbey. That, my friends, sucks some serious ass. There’s no way to get to these sights unless you have a car or you take the Hop on/Hop off bus, which you can only buy tickets through the tourist office. Theoretically I could take a bus from the Bus Eireann station to see Newgrange Tomb, so if it doesn’t open, that may be the only thing I do today.
It’s 1256. In five minutes I’m calling the tourist office and praying someone answers.
Mar 29 530 pm
Oh well, no luck on the tourist office. When they didn’t answer at one, I inquired at the gas station and the clerk said she believed it to be closed on sundays.
So since I had seen most of Drogheda, I hopped a bus to Bru Na Boinne to see the Newgrange Passage Tomb. There was only one other person on the bus with me, her name is Robin and she’s from Seattle. We ended up chatting the whole way there and then spending the entire tour and ride back together. She’s an engine inspector for Boeing, and works out of England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as the American southwest. I had a blast hanging with her, she was one cool lady.
Newgrange is a mound shaped tomb set high up a hill overlooking the Boyne Valley (Bru Na Boinne means Valley of the Boyne in Irish). It’s a very peaceful, serene setting. Newgrange is dated from approx 2900 BC. making it a thousand years older than Stonehenge, and I think the guide said 800 years old than the Pyramids of Giza. It was large for it’s time, a little over an acre in size and two or three stories high. It’s a Unesco world heritage site, making it one of the most super protected places on the planet.
It was one of those places that makes you stare in disbelief. Neolithic peoples built it; they had no technology, no horses and carts, no mortar for the stones. The rocks used to build the tomb came from 70 km south of the area and 50 km north of the area, and there’s only theories as to how these peoples managed to bring huge stones long distances. The stones are fitted together, one on top the other, nothing holding them together at all, in a conical shape, then buried by tons of grass and dirt. It’s held together all this time…
I really enjoyed my time there, though it was coooollllldddd. I especially liked hearing a voice from home and spending time with Robin.
It’s around 730 now. I got back around 530 which was much earlier than I expected. My bus baxk was only slightly eventful–there was a French girl in the seat across the aisle from me listening to her MP3 player. She was singing along VERY BADLY out loud, and I had the damndest time not laughing at her.
I was sitting in the front seat behind the driver and every five minutes or so I’d look out the windshield and cringe at being on the wrong side of the road. I just kept imagining getting hit head on, lol, it’s just not something that’s easy to get used to. Even the lanes are backwards–the fast lane is the right lane and the slow lane is the left lane. It makes me shudder.
There are baby lambs all over the place and they are the cutest damn things EVER (besides Andrew…he he, yeah I went there, I’ve got the corny lines too!) They totter alongside the mommy sheep, all unsteady on their feet and it just makes me melt.
On that note, I am done for the day. I’m supposed to go to a comedy club show at nine thirty, but I’m not going to make it that long. I’m just going to meet David and have a drink, then come back for bed. I’ve got an early start tomorrow for my day tour to the Wicklow Mountains. Peace out.