This morning we left Galway and drove across the country to the Boyne Valley just north of Dublin. Being on the Motorways again was a treat and a concern since the type of driving is do different from what we’ve gotten used to in Ireland. Lots of cars, lots of lanes, lots of places to go but more like home.
You must go to the visitor’s center to get your tickets for the tombs. If you go to the tombs directly they will send you away. Depending on the time you might have quite a bit of wait before your time so the visitor’s center is really nice. They have a lot of information about the tombs and why they think they were built.
When we arrived there we were able to book the 12:45 trip to Knowth and the 2:15 to Newgrange. It gives you enough time to do both.
When you leave the visitor’s center you have about a 5-10 minute walk to the bus center. Do not be late as they leave without you. Once it’s your time they will announce what bus you should take. The buses you take you to the right destination.
Knowth is the older sight but because it was used through the ages for many different purposes it is not as complete. At this site there are some cool stone art and there are several smaller mounds as well. No one knows why these mounds were built, who built them, how they worshiped or anything. They assume they were passage tombs because the light shines in the interior once a year and they found some cremated remains. It is just amazing that someone would build something this big and then abandon it.
Newgrange is cool because it was covered up and because of that it was preserved. Once it was uncovered about 300 years ago, people could just go in, so they are not sure what was stolen or removed. That is why there are more questions than answers.
As part of the tour you actually enter the tomb and they replicate what the light looks like on December 21. I amazes me how smart ancient cultures were. We think we have it all figured out when they had it thousands of years ago. The sad part is we lost so much and we don’t know what we lost.
If you are interested you can enter your name for a lottery to be at the tomb on December 21.
Visiting the tombs was a really fascinating stop on the trip and I am really glad we took the time to see these beauties. We didn’t have time to see anything else on the valley but I’ll leave that for next trip.
We had an awesome dinner at the Round O in Navan. Our landlady recommended that we take advantage of their early bird menu and we were so glad we did. Never have I seen so much food for such a good deal. I would suggest that you share your meal if you are not too hungry or even take some home because you will be stuffed.