Hey today I was chasing fearies at the Hills of Tara…ok not really I didn’t even see a single one. Yes I am slightly disappointed about that fact, but nevertheless I totally enjoyed today =)
Today I took a tour from Dublin to Newgrange and the Hills of Tara. I am travelling without a car and public transport is a bit lacking in Ireland and as some of you might know I enjoy a good tour from time to time. (Here some pros and cons for guided tours).
So we booked the tour with the help from our Hostel and paid 30 Euro (student discount yeahiii, otherwise 35 😉 )
Wow and that tour left me speechless, if you don’t like history, don’t take it. Quote of the tour guide: God help you, you are going to be bored to death.
That woman knew everything about Dublin, famous Irish writers, celtic traditions, even sports and she talked the whole drive over to Newgrange.(I have to confess I kind of fell asleep after 30 minutes, but that’s me on busses, as soon as I am sitting in a vehicle I basically start sleeping xD)
We arrived straight at Newgrange, which is awesome, because otherwise you have to go to the visitor center first really early to get a tour to the chamber, because they just allow a limited number of people inside.
So no waiting in line for us, yeahi =D
Newgrange is a passage tomb/chamber and about 5000 years old. 500 years older than the pyramids, but no less impressive. During these years there has been no water leaking inside and it is still mostly intact.
The passageway inside is really tight, so if you are claustrophobic I wouldn’t go inside. I actually hit my head, because the entry is quite low and because I am simply clumsy xD
During winter solstice there will be light shining directly into the tomb, till the end, but just during that time +/- 2 days. Well if the sun is shining and it isn’t raining it will, but still how amazing is that?
I won’t bore you anymore with historical details, you should go there yourself, it is amazing what people are able to achieve without the help of any tools, hell they built that thing before the wheel was discovered!
Later we took a break at a farm close by and besides the creepy swarm of ravens, it was a lovely place. I like farms, just felt kind of sorry for the people working there, while all the tourists are trying to pet the animals xD
After a break we went to the Visitor Center, where you will see the usual stuff, but they made it really nice and tried to rebuilt a typical hut from the stone age, so history lesson after history lesson 😉
Finally we made it to the Hills of Tara and what shall I say, there where hills and grass and more hills, but the view was really nice.
And the stories are giving this place the magic. There is no way anybody would get the idea that this place was the most important place in earlier ages.
The High King of Ireland resided there, the most important rituals took place there and faeries are supposed to live under the hills.
While the people from the village, fundraised to be able to set a St. Patricks statue on top of the hill (he was there at some point of his live), that really wasn’t the interesting story…well maybe it was kind of, because the statue was out of cement and well rain and cement don’t mix, so at some point St. Patrick was showing every new visitor the middle finger-gosh how I love these little stories 😀
On site, you will see the Stone of Destiny, the stone that looks like a…(think for yourself) and supposedly it will roar if the rightful king touches it. But there are some discussions if the stone standing on top of the hill really is the real stone, as usual in these cases, whooooooo knows 😉
Did I miss something with this tour? Yes the folk stories! While we got lots of information about the proper history, there was not so much about the mystical stories. We heard about the politic system, the dispute between celtic and catholic traditions, even the human sacrifices, but not a single word about the otherworldly.
Also I would have prefered not to be on a time limit, because that place is a place you have to feel and stroll around at and to be enjoyed, preferably without a big group.
But you can’t have everything right? It was still nice and while it wasn’t as grand as I expected it, it still captured my imagination and now I will hit the internet and search for some folk tales 😉
All in all, both sights are well worth a visit and I actually enjoyed them a lot, not just because I was able to sleep on the bus 😉Touring Newgrange and the Hills of Tara, while visiting Ireland, to dip your toes into a magical world. Maybe you will find some faeries 😉 Click To Tweet
Whishing you a magical day and let’s see in which world I am going to kidnap you tomorrow 😉