Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Hill of Tara

Well I had one big goal when I came to Ireland and that was to visit the Hill of Tara. Yesterday I got to do that! Well, it took a little bit of prodding to get the other girls moving so first I got to spend some time on Mihal and Mary's farm as I hadn't yet gotten to. They have horses, sheep, goats, cows, donkey's, ducks and chickens. Mihal showed me how to milk a goat! :) (yes, I have pictures). I told him how when I was young my Great Grandpa  showed me how to milk a goat and squirted goat milk in my eye. Mihal laughed but he said he would do that to his granddaughter too. After milking the mama goat I got to bottle feed the baby goats! They were adorable. Two a bit older and one a bit younger. The younger one wanted to suck on my finger because he was still hungry... so cute! :) So after hanging out on the farm a bit, the girls were ready to go to the Hill of Tara so Mary arranged a taxi for us.

It was a beautiful day for visiting the hill. The sky was blue, there was a bit of a wind and standing on top of the hill I could see for miles around. There is a small church that serves as the visitors center and we stopped to buy tickets (only 1 Euro) to the quick 20 minute video that they show about the hill but we had 20 minutes to walk around before we had to be back. We walked through the cemetery, past the wall that now lies between the park and the hill. We first came upon the Mound of the Hostages which is the passage tomb that was excavated previously. I got some good pictures of the stone that has spirals and symbols on it on the inside. It's just amazing to see this beautiful landscape and know that it was laid out so many thousands of years ago and it was sacred to the people. We wandered around over the hills and mounds until it was time to watch the video. Then after the video we wandered around even more! After we had traversed every dip and mound we all just sat or laid in the grass. I just listened to the grass blowing in the wind and felt the sun on my face. One could almost expect to hear a singing on the wind from a ceremony long ago. It was a wonderful experience.

After returning from the Hill of Tara, we were picked up by Mary and we decided we wanted to go into Trim to get a tour of Trim Castle as most of us hadn't done that yet. We also had a new arrival, our first Male, Ryan from New Hampshire. Ryan stands about my height... if that... he was wearing green cargo shorts, a salmonish color long sleeve button up shirt, a brown fedora and argil socks scrunched down. He seems very nice but also kinda goofy :)

So we walked to Trim and they stayed sunny so by the time we got there we needed something to cool us off. So we stopped into the tourist shop across the street and got an ice cream. Boy did that hit the spot! We caught the last tour of the castle at 5 p.m. It is an amazing structure. I especially liked it because it hasn't been modified/modernized like a lot of the castle's. The floors are how they would be during medieval times and the only thing they added is a covering so the inside is no longer exposed to the weather. It's funny how we romanticize life in a castle when we don't realize that these people hardly bathed, wore heavy clothes that they hung in their "garderrobe" essentially the latrine so that the ammonia from the urine would delouse their clothes. One thing that I didn't know was that often castles were lime washed on the outside to make them appear bright and white but the latrines on the inside basically seeped down the side of the wall making not so lovely outer tapestries... :P

After our tour of the castle, Mary told us to stay in Trim as there would be live music and possibly dancing to start the festival that's happening tomorrow. She said it would be on High street and start around 7. Well, in Irish time that was really 8:30! So we wandered around and got some food, had more time and saw people start setting up around 7 :) and stopped at Brogan's Bar and Lounge where I tried my first Irish Cider. It's made from apples and fermented. It was actually good! Didn't have a bad after taste like beer does. So around 8:30, the music started I was so excited because we hadn't yet heard the traditional Irish music! We stayed for about an hour because we were all tired from a day of walking. After a Taxi ride home it was off to bed.

Today is the haymaking festival that we all plan to attend (after I get me some antihistamine that is!) We also might get to go to Loughcrew, another passage tomb for the summer solstice, which would be an amazing experience but I'm not sure if that would be really early in the morning tomorrow. We'll see! Fin's supposed to let us know. Well, until later!

Miss you!

1 comment:

peteyno7 said...

The Hill of Tara, how appropriate! I could almost hear the wind as it soughed through the grasses, I could see the blue sky and the grass covered mounds that are the graves from ages past. What an experience. I am so glad that you were able to make it to "The Hill of Tara"!
Thanks for sharing, that sounded like a wonderful day in the Irish countryside that ended fittingly with Irish music in an Irish pup with a bit o' cider!
Miss you too,
Love ya Dad.
; )