Today is a rest day in Navan. Time to kick back our heals and take a breather . . .
. . . we are about half way into our Ireland trip now, having biked from Mizenhead to just NW of Dublin.
. . . and here is our belated start photo from Mizen. About seven members of the group took off right away and didn’t wait for the photo op. It was too cold and drizzly!!!
Bluebird start of the day in Navan, with full sunshine . . .
. . . as we explored Navan, population 30,000, you could see some American influence including this McDonald’s located right down the street from us but with rather discreet Golden Arches . . .
. . . but also many little town café’s too including Chekhov’s Café , with the Tone Death Music School located on the second floor. Great sense of humour!!!
. . . although there was and Aldi’s a little further down the street, there was still had a wide variety of specialty shops . . .
. . . including the Brew’s Hill Launderette which received LOTS of business form our group!!!
You see lots of folks still smoking but always outside of the restaurant, café or bar they are visiting. Vaping seems to be a bigger deal here in Ireland than in the US. In Dublin vaping was evidently allowed in pubs, which doesn’t seem to be the case here.
During the afternoon we took a little tour out to Newgrange, a Stone Age monument located in Boyne Valley, County Meath. It is the jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East. Newgrange was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange is a large circular mound 93 yards in diameter and 15 yards high with a 21 stone passageway and chambers inside.
The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called megalithic art. Newgrange was built by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley.Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
First stop was the visitor center , . .
. . . which was REALLY well done and highlighted the lives of the early settlers to this area.
The passage dome is accessible only by ticket holders and was a very informative guided tour.
. . . this is the actual burial chamber 93 feet into the dome . . . where the remains of 5 skeltons were found.
The dome is situated so the rising sun on the winter solstice shines right down the 5 foot wide passage to the center of the dome.
. . .after our tour inside we walked the circumference of the dome . . .
. . . noting the carvings and ornamentation of the rocks. After about two hundred years the passage building society left the area for good . . . never to return. The passage dome was discovered in the 18th century when the current landowner sent his workers into the field to look for rock to be used in a construction project!!
Back on the road tomorrow!!!!