This morning we left Dublin and drove out into the Irish countryside on a very informative guided tour. Our tour guide, Mary, was very welcoming, charmismatic, and knowledgable. She was like a walking encyclopedia of Irish history and tourist attraction information! On this tour we first visited the Hill of Tara.
The Hill of Tara was the spiritual seat of kings in Ireland and the site of important rituals of the Celtic people. It is comprised of a series of mounds and at its center is the Stone of Destiny which is an upright rock that was used to determine whether kings were destined to rule or not. The site itself was beautiful but the Irish countryside around it was breathtaking.
The next site we visited was Newgrange. This ancient burial site and astronomical observatory covers almost an acre of land. It is a raised monument which has a passage that is oriented to let the sun shine in on every winter eqinox, illuminating the chamber. We were able to go inside the tomb and experience a simulation of what it would be like to be inside Newgrange on the winter equinox, which was amazing.
Tomorrow we are off to Trinity College. Check out the group pictures at each of our destinations for today!