Day 7 - Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland

Trip Start Sep 09, 2012
Trip End Nov 24, 2012

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Newgrange, Ireland

Flag of United Kingdom  , N Ireland,
Monday, September 17, 2012

We packed up and headed North for Belfast, after picking up our car from some dodgy rental place organized before we left. I had been warned to make sure the car you get is the car you booked! And a Renault Megane does not an Audi make!! It was however apparently the only car they had and thankfully it fit in our cases in the boot. Upon my querying if this was the same as the car we ordered I was advised "Yes it was!" I was extremely skeptical but as they clearly had no Audi and our suitcases fit, we had no choice but to accept it. However, I immediately sent a let to our Travel Agent and they confirmed we'd been shafted though the rental company claimed they had told us they didn’t have the car we ordered available. I call bullshit. Now we will await a refund! So Sixt Car Rental BLACKLISTED when we return!

Our first stop was Newgrange. Built around 3600 BC it became buried over hundreds of years, only to be discovered in the 1600’s when a local was looking for stone to build their home. Likely a healthy fear of the faeries stopped him demolishing the structure after discovering the carved entrance stones. It lay untouched for several hundreds of years before it was excavated and studied in the 1800’s and the restoration of it began.

Newgrange is a very interesting place. When built it is thought some of the stone was transported from up to 70 kilometers away and transported via the river and using logs to roll it up to the top of the hill it was situated on. Though no one is really sure what it was used for, it was likely to be a spiritual place. On the summer solstice the sun enters the chamber through a gap above the entrance for 17 minutes, and this is the only time it does so. There were human and animal remains found within the structure during the excavation.

After Newgrange we headed to Belfast and stayed at a lovely B&B called Maranatha Guesthouse.
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