Boyne Valley-Knowth en

02.09.2006 Stone Age and Immigrants
In the morning I sleep an extra hour. After that its getting up and showering. The head is OK, but at the English breakfast, I feel significantly that something is upset in the stomach. The smell of eggs and bacon makes him rebel and I cannot even swallow the toast. Oh oh could that have been at least one beer too much yesterday? Then its tea now and much of it. After paying we drive away towards Dublin because its our final day in Ireland.

 

Fullerton Arms
Ballintoy

We drive some more along the Antrim coast but as beautiful the weather was yesterday as ugly its today. It pours rain... And so the drive through the Antrim Glens is very unspectacular. Then farther on at Drogheda we have the choice one more monastery  – Monasterboice or in the Valley of Boyne visiting the stone age graves of Knowth and Newgrange.

 

The stone age tombs seem to be far more interestinge and so we take the Valley of Boyne. To find the entrance is all but easy. The signs have not improved in the last days and we are running short on fuel. But we find the Visitor Center and ask for tours. Newgranges first available tour is at 4.15 p.m. to late for us, but Knowth at 3 is just fine. The hour until departure is avidly spent in the museum and the book shop. Even there very interesting items and information.

altes Cottage Antrim Glens
Boyne Visitor Center
Satellitengrab in Knowth
Angler im Boyne

The Boyne Valley (gälic: Brugh na Bóinne), north of Dublin in county Meath is one of some larger prehistoric cult sites, of which some are preserved with tomb hills contained in large stones. The sites were probably built in 3500 BC to 2500 BC The sites of Dowth, Knowth and Newgrange are UNESCO world heritage since 1993

 

Knowth is as a art of the Bru-Na Boinne-Complex, an accumulation of prehistoric megalithic sites in Donore in Boyne Valley, Co. Meath in Ireland. Located about 1 km northwest of Newgrange and 2 km west of Dowth. The main hill dominates in size almost any other megalithic site in Ireland.

Nicole vor Woodhenge
Gangrab in Knowth

At the bus stop the  Knowth us picks us up and brings us directly to the excavation site. There our guide is already waiting for us. He describes the different settlements ranging from 4.000 BC until the 15th century AD. The original graves were over settled a couple of times. The site itself consists of one main and 17 satellite tombs.

The oval main hill has a diameter of 80 m respectively 95 m and is almost 10m high. It was surrounded by a ditch built much later within the perimeter of 127 stone blocks (each longer than 2m). A break in the stone circle is at satellite N 16. Because it was already existent at the foundation of the Eastern tomb it was regarded in the construction. Its access was relocated to a new built passageway a unique thing in the megalithic architecture of Ireland. The erection of the hill was done in layers of grass, clay, roll stones and slate.

das Hauptgrab in Knowth

The eastern passage leads to a cruciform chamber, not unlike that to be found at Newgrange. It contains three recesses and basin stones into which the cremated remains of the dead were placed.
The right-hand recess is larger and more elaborately decorated with megalithic art than the others, which is typical for Irish passage graves of this type. The reason for this is unknown. The western passage ends in an undifferentiated chamber (ie: it has no sides, it is a rectangular room). This chamber is separated from the passage by a sillstone. The chamber seems to have also contained a basin stone. This was later removed and is now located about two thirds down the passageway.

Kunst in den Ganggräbern

According to our guide the stone shown above was there before the hill was erected, because he would not have fit through the passageway. And the earth upon the tomb has a weight of 300.000 tons (is this possible?)
Impressive anyway what the stone ages have done here. The passages are aligned so precisely that the sun shines into them exactly at the day of the equinox

the border stones are embroidered with inscripts and patterns, one of them showing kind of a calendar. Then there is the sacrificial circle an arrangement like in Stonehenge only that here wooden pillars were used to mark the circle.

 

Steinkunst 4000 B.C.
unser Guide in Knowth
Knowth Ritualstein
Satellitengrabhügel Knowth

Time is running fast and soon the bus brings us back to the visitor center. From there we drive carefully to the airport always watching the fuel gauge. We have no intention to run out of fuel now. But we make it. At the airport we search the car rental return, but there is a erection site at this time and it has been relocated without signs. Well, we know the trick. I simply drive to the place were we picked up the car and Voila there we are. Drop the car and take a cab to the hotel.

The taxi driver tells that the are where the hotel is was not long ago a no go area. Nice to know. Indeed there are a lot of old block of flats, ready for running them down. A lot of renters already moved out but some are still there. The hotel however is modern but the restaurant features only a buffet for 20 EUR per person. My stomach has stabilized, but not as much as to take the buffet. Therefore we go outside. Not too far away is a grocery shop. There we find out that here live mainly workers from Poland. You can buy Polish sausage being certainly bought by most of the employees here themselves. But we do not buy Kielbasa but prefer a yummy sandwich of our own choice. Add the unavoidable beer and some bananas. We dine in the hotel and after the 1:0 victory of Germany against Ireland in Stuttgart (what an irony isn´t it?) we go to sleep, because we have ordered a taxi for 4 am.
Nicole says she has head many sirens of the policy but I have slept deep and satisfied. ;-))
KM: 298
Hotel: Days Hotel Dublin **

03.09.2006 Bye Bye Ireland
At 3.30 the alarm clock rings and shortly after we board the taxi getting us to the airport. I talk about the match with the driver and he is not unhappy with the result. So am I. The airport is extremely busy even at the early hour. And at the LH cue happens something fulfilling all cliché.
A heavy lady of African American origin stands at the front with two suitcases as large as to fit my complete wardrobe. The lady at the counter tries to explain her that this is impossible because only one suitcase with 20 kg is allowed. But the message does not get through. Lady suitcase wants definitely to take these suitcases with her.
„but these are my suitcases“- Oh yes, I have a car outside can I check it in please?

Dublin Airport

 

Airbus A 319 back in Frankfurt

Some people should better not fly. Sometime even this drama is finalized (the discussion continues elsewhere) and we are allowed to check in. Some minor shopping in the departure area and the aboard the plane, which flies us in 90 min to Frankfurt.
There we rent a car, turning out as a Mini Cooper. Whistles and rattles but gets us safely home. So this was our first trip to Ireland with the bottom line that we enjoyed it very much
.

And now serve the swabian noodles please!!

Irland
Antrim Coast Irland