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    Jon's Ireland Vacation Travelogue - June 2002 - Part V
    Day 1 | Day 2-3 | Day 4 | Day 5-6 | Day 7-8

    Day 7

    Well it was too rainy this weekend to get out and do anything, so I still don't have any new pictures. But it occurs to me that I still haven't gotten up all of the photos from the Ireland vacation last year. So here ya go.

    The trouble is that the main reason I stopped was that all of my notes from the trip got stolen when my car was broken into. So I don't have all of the cool stories, and I can't remember off the top of my head were much of this stuff is. No one minds if I just guess and make stuff up right?

    I think the third picture there is from the Gweebarra Bridge, but it could be just about anything. I was heading out of Ardara and racing up to Inishowen Peninsula. This was to be the most hectic leg of the trip and I really didn't have a solid plan. I also didn't have a place to stay the night. Which was stupid. Always get a B&B reserved at least a day ahead.

    So up past Errigal Mountain, a quick hike in Glenveagh National Park, and then over to Griahan of Aileach stone fort.

    The Griahan of Aileach turned out to be a bit annoying. When I got there I had the whole place to myself, but within a couple minutes a school bus pulled about and about 30 screaming kids started swarming all over the thing and shooting at each other with cap guns. No, I'm not kidding.

    Nice view though.

    Deciding to spend 3-4 hours driving around Inishowen Peninsula was also silly. I must have been nuts. The B&B I finally found was half way back towards Donegal. Long drive.

    I don't know where these smaller high crosses were from. Somewhere around Gleneely I think. But the big shaded one is the 8th century Carndonagh high cross. Since it's 1200 years old I can understand the roof they have over it, but why not put the thing indoors?

    There where some kids skateboarding here who wanted to chat, but I couldn't understand anything they said. I could tell it was English, but that was about it.

    Comments for this section

    Here's the Beltany stone circle.

    If I'd planned better I could have been here at the solstice. But I needed to race back to Dublin to catch my plane. There were a lot of interesting alignments here.

    The two pic on the right there are from Beaghmore stone circles and alignments. This was weird. It was all crowded together with little rows of stone running all over the place. I couldn't make any sense of it.

    And I have no idea what this thing is. I know it's the ruins of some castle between Cookstown and Armagh. Some ancestral home of a major family? I have no idea. It had a huge mote. Near Tullaghogue maybe?

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    Here's Navan Fort in Northern Ireland. The first picture is the ditch around the sides of the hill. Then the mound itself. And then the mound seen from the bottom. I was hoping to find out more about the place from the interpretive center, but the damn thing was closed. I know they've done extensive excavations here. It's very interesting I'm sure.

    They were having some sort of ceremony in the field next to the hill. I wasn't sure if it was some sort of pagan thing or a medieval recreation group. There was a very interesting story about that. But since I lost my notes I can't remember it.

    And here are more unknown things from the trip. Having notes would certainly help at this point. I know that I did almost die in this vicinity. I was driving over the top of a rise and suddenly there was a semi coming at me in the middle of the road. There were steep banks on both sides, and he didn't even think about swerving. I ended up driving off the road and up one of the embankments. I was sure the car was going to roll and then crash back into the truck, but somehow I made it.

    Driving in Ireland is totally fucking insane.

    And here's Ballynoe Stone Circle, Legananny Dolman, and one of the stones at Ballynoe. I think there were some cool stories around here as well, but of course I can't remember them.

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    Pictures from Newgrande passage tomb.

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    The Proleek Dolmen was one of the hardest things to find on the trip. First of all the signs from the highway take you on a roundabout tour of the local back roads. Then you have to spot the tiny sign that indicates the dolmen is in a private country club. Then you need to figure out how to get to the trail, which is hidden behind some of the out buildings. I ended up wandering around through people's backyards, assuming I was going to get arrested by security or something. Then you actually wander through the entire golf course as golfers look at you like you don't belong there.

    Very odd.

    And I suppose I should add more info on Newgrange, since I was so lazy with it yesterday. More info can be found here:

    1, 2, 3.

    That third one has some nice pictures of the interior. It's pretty wild crawling into a passage that was built 5000 years ago.

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    The last leg of the trip was down to Dublin.

    I'd booked a hotel on O'Connell Street, but that proved problematic. First of all just getting to central Dublin and then having any idea where you are is not easy. I actually drove around for quite a while with no idea where I was, and then just happened to drive past my hotel.

    Also, parking is no fun. I found a parking garage and then ended up walking back to the hotel. Which is when the fun began.

    I checked in at the desk and they informed me that they didn't have a reservation for me. I handed them my confirmation. And they handed it back and told me that was for next month. Aaaaahhhh!!! Shit. I'd checked the dates on all the vouchers accept for the last one. Scepter Tours had booked me for the wrong month.

    So I sat around in the lobby trying to figure out whether to sleep in the car or try and drive 50 miles out of Dublin to get a B&B.

    Fortunately they were able to call the tour company and talk them into finding me a room across the street in a fancier hotel. Very nice.

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