When people think of Ireland, Newgrange doesn’t come to mind.
Ireland, afterall is the land of Guinness, or Jameson’s Whiskey. It is rather ironic that the only thing that people can be proud of for the Irish is the liquor. Or in the case of Southside Chicago, where I lived for three years, fistfights and violence. In order to remember a man of God, who wasn’t even Irish, American self styled Irish get together to get wasted and hungover and inflict violence on other American Irish youth. Is this the pride of the Irish?
Well I found this place, thanks to my grandmother. Newgrange. Apparently the ancient peoples on the Irish isles built several mounds. many were burial mounds. The fascinating thing about these mounds is that they are aligned with the sunrises or sunsets on the seasonal climaxes. The entrance to this mound, Newgrange, faces the Winter Solstice, the beginning of the new solar year. Predating Algebra and Physics, the Irish people managed to calculate this moment with near precision. And they were motivated by mysticism more than by humanities I imagine.
So I took a tourist group up to Newgrange from Dublin. It was a day trip. Fortunately we had a warm and sunny day when we arrived. After visiting the site, we went to the visitor center, with some corny exhibits you would expect in a Newgrange visitor’s center and gift shop. After some time, I realized I needed to return to the bus… And of course I got left behind.
They visitor’s center had the tour group phone number, and so we were fine, but the irony of that, I would be the guy to get left behind. Of course I am lucky for being Irish. I also met a girl in the same tour group from Los Angeles, hows that for luck.
Other than that, I must admit the Guinness actually did taste better in Dublin.