In March 2014 we visited the magical Ireland. Our main purpose was to make a little pilgrimage to the ancient pagan sites and also these mysticals ruins of castles which exist over there, in few days. We only had 7 days vacation and a tiny budget, so we could not visit the entire island but I think we saw a beautiful portrait of this amazing island.
By a beautiful thursday evening, we left France, and we landed at Dublin where our trip started. We rented a night to the Kinlay House, in the temple bar area before leaving for the Meath County. The area was very animated, a lot of people were drinking and singing in bars, we’ve seen a lot of band of folk Irish music, and green clovers for the St Patrick’s day which was coming next week. In this pleasant ambiance, we walked a bit in the streets before to go back to the hostel: a long adventure was waiting for us soon, we needed some rest!
The tomorrow morning, we rented a car, with many adrenaline…
Indeed, it was the first time we drove to the left of the road like Irish inhabitants. It’s frightened me a lot haha, I had the impression to make something really bad! The roads are pretty smalls, with loops in the countryside;
Honestly, I could not stop to think about the middle earth of Tolkien, with all this green grass, this golden light, the hills, and all these cute cottages and friendly inhabitants who gardening in front of their houses, with the smile.
The cairn of Brù na Bòinne
We’ve decided to visit in first our ancients, to this high place from the Neolithic, the cairn of Brù na Bòinne. When we arrived, a tall man with a big black beard, shouted to us to come quickly before the bus closes his doors. So a bit confused because we didn’t expect a guide, neither a bus trip, we’ve paid for two tickets and jumped into the bus. On our way, we’ve seen another Cairn, more little, but the guide said that this one was closed for the season.
In fact, it was okay because the bus drove only a few minutes and stopped at the top of the hill where the cairn stand place. We went down with four other persons and a sympathetic guide; she said we were lucky (and I agree) because often, the groups of visit are around forty tourists and she thinks it’s not reasonable for enjoy the visit and this sacred place. So our little fellowship diriged himself to the entrance of the cairn, where a big carved stone was standing at the entrance like a sign of warning…
We already knew about the purposes of Cairns and all, but the guide was so passionate and the surprise reactions of others were so funny, that the visit was pleasant!
At a moment, she turned off the lights for show us with her flashlight, the effect of the sun ray on the hole of solstice on the tomb, and it was really cool and very stirring, to see that incredible invention from our ancestors. Everybody stood in a respectful silent (except a woman who was scared and has pushed a little scream at the beginning, hahaha). I’ve not a lot of pictures of the Cairn, because it was too dark inside, and I hate pictures with the flash!
After this visit, we went to another cairn, Hill of Tara
The visit was free, but the place was not impressive as the first. We could not visit his interior because it was too fragile and protected by a grid. However, the path to join the Cairn was sympathetic. The plain where we were was really big and windy, and we’ve discovered that I thought was a fairy tree, where people hanged pieces of fabrics and made a wish. Or maybe it is in relation to the goddess Brigid, who for summary, bless the coats that people left outside during the night of Imbolc for receiving her protection during the year. As I’ve read in a Celtic traditions book, sometimes, the coat is replaced by a piece of fabric that people hang in their house after Imbolc, so this tree made me remind of this.
A castle, a movie !
We also visited the beautiful Trim castle, which is also a thing to see if you come in the area of Meath. It was built in the XII on the side of a river, and it is known as the tallest of Ireland. AND it was a place which served for the movie Braveheart!