Shae Abroad Spring 2019 travel blog

This was another fieldtrip for another one of my Irish Cultural classes. The three places we went were ancient burial sites built thousands of years ago. The first place we went was Newgrange which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is this burial site with a big white wall around it made of quartz stone. When the monument was built there is no way that would have happened and the stones would have most likely been like a carpet around the entire thing.

There are kerb stones around the whole monument and some are carved and decorated. It was really impressive. What is even more impressive about the structure is that on the winter solstice ā€” weather permitting ā€“ the sun shines through the light box and illuminates the pathway into the inner chamber. The inner chamber is where the dead would have been placed and the light was seen as some sort of passage from this life to the next.

We had the special opportunity to walk through into the inner chamber and it was super small and narrow. Inside there were a lot of carvings and the most famous one is the triple spiral. In addition to that, we got a simulation of what it is like for light to come into the chamber on the 21st of December. It was really amazing. After that, we walked around the outside and saw the decorated kerb stones.

The next place we went was Knowth which is similar to Newgrange. Around Knowth, there are smaller mound burial sites and when you walk through the area you feel like you are in the hobbit. There is this little underground tunnel that you can go through, and I did!

Dowth was the last place we visited and at this point I was cold and soaking wet from the rain. This burial has no up-keep. We walked to the top and there was a woman just sitting on the mound playing a drum.

I met a friend named Mac on the trip who is from the states but this is his second semester at Maynooth. He is super into music and climbing so we said we would jam together sometime and also go climbing with each other on a Tuesday. Iā€™m super pumped.

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