"The Republic of Ireland" Ireland by jewels63
Ireland Travel Guide: 15,729 reviews and 35,359 photos
My husband and I were on a mission to experience the land of our ancestors who we had only found out about with the progress and access to the internet and testing of D.N.A...............Being called Roy McNeill, the boy had imagined he was related to a Scottish hero, ROB ROY!
It was a shock to discover he was a direct descendent of "Niall of the Nine Hostages", who died about 405. As New Scientist reported, there could be 3 million others with the same genetic markers as Roy, and 1 in 12 Irish.
We were going to be staying in Dublin first, home to my recently discovered maternal forebears, the Ross and Fagan clans who I had researched as living and working in the centre of the city in the nineteenth century.
We found a self-contained appartment from where we could walk or catch public transport.
Dame St. - DUBLIN CASTLE: Seat of Imperial British Power for 700years, and remains a functioning administration centre for government business.
My Great Uncle worked in the PayMasters office after WW1. When I looked out from the State rooms to the yard outside I could see my GGGrandfather on parade in his Seaforth Highlander kilt being loyal to the monarch who paid his wage.
Good jobs at a time when most were dirt poor. Roy and I thoroughly enjoyed our informative tour by the young Republican guide. They are well versed and equipped for questions and it only cost 4.50euro each for 45mins.
Being 'Time Team' fans we were thrilled to go deep into the Viking archeology of the undercroft. A nice surprise was being directed across the paving stones to the quaint Chapel Royal which was used as a set for 'The Tudors'.
It was all quite fascinating, the living history of the people and places, and listening to the Irish accents and spoken Gaelic that would have been spoken by unknown grandmothers!
writing the maternal her/stories at http://julie-mcneill.blogspot.com
Only an hour on the bus from Dublin with a free newspaper provided, we disembarked in the town of Navan, County Meath.
We were booked in to a Bed and Breakfast that was in commuting range by car or bus to the ancient grounds of our ancestors at Tara and Newgrange.
Newgrange is a UNESCO heritage site of a 5000 year old passage tomb, older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids!
It was the middle of summer, but we needed to get out of rain macks. Visitors are taken on a guided tour only from the main tourist centre where there is an exhibit relating to the tombs and archeology.
This involves a little walk to a bus transit area which takes you to the separate tombs and mounds.
Looking at the monument for the first time, it looks so new! The white quartz is stunning.
It's an adventure in the valley of the Boyne River, famous for a major battle, but when you are standing on the rise of this ancient structure, staring down at the riverbank where men would have transported boulders up the hill it's a marvel!
The surrounding landscape is pleasant. It is a place of dreams and imagination, to be sure....
When I saw the decorated kerbstones around the tomb I gasped at the similarity to the the patterns of Australian aboriginal rock art. Such distant and different cultures and environments but the same artistic impulse by us all...
- Pros:Passionate and informed tour guides at significant sites.
- Cons:The weather! You can't see much if its raining in your face!
- In a nutshell:Celtic pride in city and country cultures.
We were covered in our cheap plastic coats, stepped off the bus from nearby Navan and walked towards the mythical Hill... more travel advice
Even if you have no relations buried here, the Glasnevin Trust have set up a very informative and pleasant tourist... more travel advice
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