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08(01), 07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)

Thu, 27 Oct 2016
day 02 in leprechaun land (0 comments)
we started day 02 with an irish breakfast for nina, and sweetened porridge and continental breakfast for me. then we got in the car and headed for brú na bóinne[02-50], named as one of the world's most important prehistoric landscapes from the neolithic period. so the area includes megalithic passage graves, lots of monuments, mounds, standing stones, tombs, henges, and enclosures. all dating back from the early beginnings around 6000 years to the most active period dating back 5000 years to the neolithic period. we decided to start with the site of knowth[03-36], an ancient monument and a neolithic passage grave inside a mound, that is about 12 metres high and 67 metres in diameter.
the mound is surrounded by 128 massive kerbstones (though one seems to have gone missing), almost all of them decorated with monolithic art carvings like spirals, diamond shapes, and serpent-like forms.
up to now, the meaning of the carvings is actually unknown. so maybe it could just have been eye candy; but this is rather unlikely. like all the monolithic findings in brú na bóinne all this stuff is older than stonehenge or the pyramids of egypt; unbelievable. especially when it comes to explaining how they could transport all the stones and pile them up to build the inside of the chamber hallways.
next station was newgrange[37-48], another round mound with an inner stone passageway and chambers. it is a bit larger in diameter than knwoth, and almost the same height. around the mound there are 97 kerbstones, and one big entrance stone. in newgrange one can even enter the chambers, but you are not allowed to take pictures inside, besides it would have been too dark anyway. but you get to know the profound knowledge of science and astronomy that was needed when planning this site.
once a year, exactly at the winter solstice, the sun would then fill the whole 19 metres of the passage and light up the inner chambers. the illumination lasts a little longer than 15 minutes. a small group of people is allowed in the chamber when this happens, and the good thing is everyone can apply for it; by drawing lots the lucky few get picked. the inner chamber is 6 metres high and entirely built from stone slabs. it also contains three recesses and basin stones that contained the bones of the dead. at the visitor centre it is shown how the building of the mounds was done, namely with ropes and logs to transport the stones. still it is hard to imagine how those people at the time could manage to transport several hundred tons of stone just to build those impressive monuments, of which the purpose is unknown today. we have not been to dowth, the third mound. instead we drove back to carlingford, and took a walk through this lovely village[51-80], and enjoyed the lovely streets and halloween decorations.
not many people were in the streets, it obviously is off-season. though we saw some people through the windows of the few pubs and bars.
there is also john's castle[66-74] on a little hill looking over carlingford. it got its name because king john stayed there for three days in the 12th century. since we could not get inside, either because it was already closed as it was too late, or because it was renovated in off-season, or because it was not publicly accesible at all, we decided to go down to the beach.
after it got dark we went to "ma bakers" pub to have dinner. turns out there is a live band every thursday, the so called "the folk legends". and so we got free and cool live music, and carlingford local blond craft beer. and while this evening started with us being the only guests, the pub soon became crowded - seems the folk legends are pretty famous here in carlingford. but then it was time to go to sleep and spend another night at the belvedere hotel in carlingford. today's average temperature was about 15°C, and it was overcast and cloudy most of the day again. track for day 02.

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