Which are Older: The Great Pyramids or Ireland’s Passage Tombs?

Chris in front of the Knowth passage tomb

Since we’re traveling Ireland, you probably guessed the answer. I visited Newgrange in 2012 and remember being blown away. This morning we visited both Newgrange and Knowth and I’m even more gobsmacked. I don’t want to bore you with details but here’s a taste: the Knowth passage tomb was built around 2500 BC with 250,000 tons of material over a period of 20–60 years and has remained completely water-tight to this day. It also contains 30% of the Megalithic art in Western Europe. We will definitely come back in a month with the family!

View from the top of Knowth. Yes, you can walk on top of the passage tomb!

We’re currently on the train to Belfast and I’m delighted by a dapper 4-year old across from me sipping a juice box. He reminds me of Shane who said goodbye this morning by showing off his Jurassic World Lego dinosaur and nanobug one last time.

Our train buddy, eating a bag of delicious cheese and onion Tayto crisps

Then our host Mike asked to toss the football with Chris a few times in the yard (“it’s a guy thing” he said) before dropping us at the Bru na Boinne visitor center. We missed the bus into town, but enjoyed the chat with our taxi driver. We might need to add another hike as he strongly recommended the Atlantic Way; so many Ways, so little time! While waiting for the train, we struck up a lively conversation with Michael (another cab driver) standing at the snack stand. When back in Manhattan we are sure to stop into The Penny Farthing, an Irish pub owned by Michael’s brother. We’ll know we’re in the right place if there’s a big sign that says “Drogheda” just as we walk in the door.

We are only on day 2 but I’m dialing in where to keep stuff (e.g., the toothbrush got moved to my lid - I like it handy!) and how to wear my travel purse and pack together. I learned that pesto isn’t basil here, it’s a curry flavored spread, and while goujons sound exotic, they’re just chicken fingers. I switched to Celsius on my phone’s weather app as a “when in Rome” move, but still need to do a rough conversion to Fahrenheit in my head (times 2 plus 30). I don’t know if I’ll ever see 20 and think “Woo, perfect!”; it just sounds cold. I’m still working to remember to keep the phone in airplane mode to save battery, and to fill up all water bottles when we have a good water source.

It was raining when we pulled into Belfast, but cleared up for our brief walk through town where we happened on a strongman competition in front of City Hall.

Belfast City Hall

A few of the contestants in the strongman competition in front of Belfast City Hall

I’m now sitting in the downstairs kitchen of the Global Village hostel in Belfast where folks are eating, playing foosball and chatting; I appreciate the casual friendly feel. The tempting aromas are encouraging me to finish up and head out in search of food. I’m looking for something green and leafy and my first pint of Guinness.