Today was a great day. We took a Celtic Day Tour throughout the Boyne Valley. We started with the Hill of Tara. This is a sacred place, very important in Celtic history. It is beautiful, unspoiled, with magnificent views. The Celts picked a high hill to be close to the gods.
The High King was chosen on Tara. He would then touch this coronation stone. It is called Lia Fail or the Screaming Stone. If it screamed three times, he would be a great king. For the record, I touched it…nothing.
In ancient Ireland, Tara was revered as a dwelling of the gods and an entrance to the Otherworld.
This is a Fairy Tree. A Hawthorne that grows by itself is considered to be a fairy fort. You can see coloured rags tied to the tree. These are ribbons or coloured bits of clothing…for wishes. There are some who still believe in Fairies.
Next stop Trim Castle.
Trim Castle is a Norman Castle built in the twelfth century. It is the largest Anglo Norman Castle in Ireland. It sits beside the Boyne River and is quite lovely. Its most recent claim to fame is that it was used in the filming of the movie Braveheart.
And then it was on to Loughcrew Passage Tomb. The Celts built many passage tombs. Most are positioned so the light comes through the passage on two days a year. Either the winter and summer solstices, like Newgrange or the equinoxes.
You can see the entrance here. The tomb consists of a passage surrounded by three chambers. Large stones in the chambers are decorated with Celtic symbols. As the light illuminates them, the symbols become clear. Since it was not either equinox today, we used a flashlight to see the markings..
After a lovely lunch in a little cafe, we piled back on the bus to head toward our next destination. Monasterboice. This is the ruin of an abbey. It contains a round tower and three Celtic crosses. .
And here is one of the crosses. You can see how clear the detail is. It is one of the best preserved crosses in Ireland. The scenes on the front and the back of the cross depict events from the Bible..Christian events. But on the sides are Celtic symbols. A mixing of the two cultures.
By now it was getting dark. So back to Dublin we went for a nice dinner and a pint.
The perfect end to a perfect day!