I’m writing to you from my bed, where I have been for the past 48 hours because I figure, meh Ireland’s cool and all but, watching 2 and a half seasons of How I Met Your Mother is like wayyyy cooler. Jokes. I’m sick. I have the Plague and I am dying. Jokes again. I have the ever so persistent strep throat. It feels like a burning hot curling iron is lodged in my throat and I haven’t been able to eat or talk at all, but don’t cry for me people. I will be okay I will make it out of this alive I promise you.
BUT there is good news (besides the fact that I can eat pints of Ben and Jerry’s without the usual self loathing that follows): Before the strep really kicked in I had the opportunity to do some super cool Irish stuff on Saturday (and it was all paid for by UCD. Win!) So we started our day at the Newgrange passage tomb in Co Meath. If you’re like me and you had no idea what that is, I shall tell you what that is.
The Newgrange passage tomb was built in 3200 B.C. Before the invention of the wheel, before the pyramids were even a thought in egyptian minds, and… Before Christ? (I couldn’t think of a third one). Anyway the fact that this thing was built before the invention of the wheel is pretty impressive because the stones they used were only available in other Irish counties. These stone age people had to carry these rocks from places miles and miles away to build this thing. The Newgrange tomb went unexplored for thousands of years until the 60’s when an archeological team was put together to do some excavating. Before then, Cows could still be seen grazing on the grass on top of the tomb. Something else incredibly impressive was the window-type structure above the entrance to the tomb. During the winter solstice, when the sun is rising, this window structure was carefully placed where it was in order to capture the sunlight to shine directly into the tomb. We could only see a reenactment of the event, but still very very impressive. While it is still unsure as to what exactly the tomb was for, it is believed that these people would cremate their dead, place the ashes in the tomb, and when the winter solstice arrived, the beam of sunlight (if they were sun worshippers) would carry their souls onto their afterlife. While we were inside the tomb, the tour guide was sure to let us know that we were standing under thousand of tons of rock that were placed there without any adhesive assistance. Comforting. But still an incredibly cool experience.
After we finished our tour at Newgrange, we bussed to a place called Causey Farms. First we partnered up and learned how to make Irish Soda Bread (Psh I already knew how to do that). While we were waiting for our bread to bake, we went into a barn where we learned an Irish Dance and learned how to play an Irish drum a.k.a bodhrán. In case you were wondering, I wasn’t very good at either. We still had some time to kill so the farm owners took us to look at some baby lambs that had just been born where I fulfilled the long sung prophecy: Mary had a little lamb. Those things were so freakin’ cute I came so very close to sneaking one home with me. At that point the strep was really kickin’ in so I didn’t get to try our Irish Soda Bread, but I heard it was great.
I’m hoping for a speedy recovery because Beth, Liv, and Emily get here Wednesday!! I’m so excited to have my first visitors in Dublin! Hope all is well at home, or wherever you’re reading this from! Miss everyone a lot a lot a lot!! I’ve had my good laugh with writing this, now it’s time for a long long long sleep.