Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Switch - Part II

So in case anyone is wondering how this ruins our round the world plans, it doesn't. We'll still fly
US > China > Europe > US, which counts in my book. But since all of that doesn't start for a few more days, we found we had: A) time to kill, & B) international passes burning a hole in our pockets. Europe anyone? I think so!

So I could give you every detail of landing, customs, etc. or I could launch straight into some pics I've snatched thus far. Votes anyone? Yep. We're doing pictures.

I nearly bludgeoned Josh with excitement when I saw this out my window.  

I somehow talked Josh into doing a driving tour of the greater Dublin area even though neither of us have ever really driven on the left side before. When we came into the rental lot from the airport, I actually prayed that they'd give us a tiny, adorable car - you do see them more on this side of the pond, and I just felt like they're part of the experience.
No picture I took could do justice to how petit this thing is. But somehow they manage to have you sitting up straight with your feet beneath you (rather than out in front of you like in my own car). Nice!
Here it is!

Just for laughs.
Josh actually took to it like a duck to water - in a standard transmission no less!

Our first stop was to the Irish countryside north of Dublin...
Yes, folks, it really is THAT green and pretty here.

to view an ancient site so old that I never did fully wrap my head around what was before me. 
Meet Newgrange. 

     Let me pause for a moment and put it like this. Lord willing next month we will get to see Rome and there are ancient things everywhere there. Long before Paul got to Italy's shores, someone was founding Rome probably in the 700's B.C.
The pyramids of Egypt are older still. A quick search pulls up 2700 B.C. as the starting period for the first pyramids. Bible scholars can correct me, but I believe not even the written pentateuch is that old, dating from maybe 1400's B.C?
And Newgrange? This place seems to be dated somewhere around 3200 B.C.

People. That's half a millennia before the pyramids.
my mind = blown

From closer I could see how tall it really is. But no less mysterious.

I'll let you read up elsewhere on just what this place is doing atop an Irish mountain. Sadly they wouldn't let me take pictures of the incredible passageway we walked through inside. wanted. to. so. bad. But didn't. But what I can say is that I am not a big person nor am I claustrophobic, but if anything could make me, that would have done it. Peeps, it was small. Massive stones leaned together and rocks touched shoulders so that at points I had to practically crawl to get through. But once inside it was worth it. So strange and old. But lovely in it's own way.

Many heads have been bumped here. Over 5200 years... many heads.

Back outside, we circumnavigated the walls.
Old stones over older stones.

As we looked at the architecture and art, I kept telling Josh, "I can't do it! I can't place in my mind just how old this stuff is!!" He paused thoughtfully and said, "Think Job."  
Both inside and out, the structure was peppered with art like this, chiseled by hands that lived five millennia ago. 

Headed back to our car we had plenty to think on.

Or at least, so we thought. Turns out a snack is only so good...
Tea & scones - yum!

As you have wakefulness to appreciate it!
Feeling the lag.

Josh let me take the helm while he took a nap. (sortof)
I've got this! No, really!

We somehow managed to make it around Dublin and into the mountains to the south.
Yeay, country again!

Only to find that we still had to share the road.
"SHEEPS!!" I practically screamed.
But sheeps, us, and car came out just fine.

Further on the trees dropped off and the terrain became more wild. Our map always seemed two steps behind our actual location, when we happened upon a sign that pointed to our very destination: Glendalough, county Wicklow. The road wasn't on our map, but hey why not, right? A little ways in we found out why the road wasn't on our map.  
Are we finding a pattern here? Yes, the road was tiny. Seemed hardly 6 or 7 feet across in places. 

I'd be lying if I said that we and the fiat didn't occasionally do hopscotch on that teeny road with those crazy bends. But again, God preserved!
She'll be comin' round the mountain - right now!!

Right as dusk fell we finally came to our destination 
A quick stroll.

A friendly and quiet hostel gladly took us in and we set up shop in our own room. Our traveling companion sock monkey watched us eat digestives and pb&h's, watch a movie to stay up past 7, then finally crumple into grateful sleep.
Home is where you stash your sock monkey!

Our first day in Ireland? A smashing success!


  1. That rock monument is sooooooo old!!! That's incredible - what a great adventure!

  2. I want that written on a poorly-placed mantel in my imaginary house: "Many heads have been bumped here."