Northern Ireland’s Crannog Dig Extended

Northern Ireland’s Crannog Dig Extended.

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Bundoran at Last!

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After our visit to Tara, we arrived at our new home for the remainder of the week Bundoran in Co. Donegal.   Western Ireland was epically beautiful.  The rolling green hills, the waves crashing against the sea cliffs.  It  looked, well actually, just like all the novels and movies portray it.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=CL_3HGzdTdDfrM&tbnid=uAh7xonJ3PeX8M:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turfnsurf.ie%2Flocation%2F&ei=K2dIUazNEYno9ASIq4CoBQ&bvm=bv.43828540,d.dmg&psig=AFQjCNGS404KF9YJk8_JWssL8FbDM-oLtQ&ust=1363785831781114

I arrived in Bundoran a bit travel weary.  We had traveled across the entire country of Ireland, stopping at Slane, Newgrange, and Tara along the way.   I was extremely grateful for our comfortable accomodations at the Apartotel.  Our arrival in Bundoran is when the Rock Star Tour group really starts to experience Irish culture 1st hand.  We meet Bundoran’s people.  The first resident, other than Niamh of course, we meet is John, the proprietor of our hotel.  John is a charming host for our visit, seeing to our needs settling into the hotel.

trad music

Our group only takes a short siesta, because we have dinner plans!  Niamh takes us to La Sabbia, where her husband Paddy generously welcomes us with enthusiasm.  We have drinks, we have a scrumptious dinner and some lively conversation.  However, the day does not end!  John has arranged a party for us in 51 Pub, the gathering spot at Apartotel.  There is “trad” music (traditional Irish music) and pints of Guinness.  I think the entire town turned out to meet us.

I knew Ireland would be a nice experience, I knew that as long as the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland was providing a quality study experience that I would bring students, what I did not expect was to really enjoy the people as much as I did.  Bundoran surprised me.  Everyone was so interested in sharing their town, country, and culture with us.  That makes for a uniquely personal experience, one that will have a lasting effect on the students who journey to Ireland with me next summer.

Saving Northern Irelands Noble Bog – Archaeology Magazine

Speaking of Ireland today…

Saving Northern Irelands Noble Bog – Archaeology Magazine.

On the Road Again…

Durring our last chat I was telling the tale of our Rockstar tour’s trek across Ireland.  Go west my friend!   Bundoran or Bust!  We stopped at 3 cultural sites along the way, Slane in the Boyne River Valley, Newgrange, and the Hill of Tara.  I have told the tale of the first two, but today we discuss the last.

 

We left new grange in the mid-afternoon to again travel westward towards Bundoran.  We made one final stop along the way at the Hill of Tara.  We reached the Hill of Tara at sunset.  What a spectacular way to visit this important Celtic site.

tara-aerial-1

The Hill of Tara, known as Temair in Irish, was once considered the ancient seat of power for Celtic kings (AD 0 – 800) .  It is the highest spot in the country where one can see all 4 provinces at once – Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Connacht.

 

142 kings are said to have reigned there in prehistoric and historic times. In ancient Irish religion and mythology Temair was the sacred place of dwelling for the gods, and was the entrance to the otherworld. Saint Patrick is said to have come to Tara to confront the ancient religion of the pagans at its most powerful site.

 Jonathan, Cyndi, Betty at Hill of Tara

Sitting on top of the King’s Seat (Forradh) of Temair is the most famous of Tara’s monuments – Ireland’s ancient coronation stone – the Lia Fail or “Stone of Destiny”, which was brought there according to mythology by the godlike people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, as one of their sacred objects. It was said to roar when touched by the rightful king of Tara.

 

At the site you can see outlines of stockades with moats.  There are several 100 bodies located in  mounds in the surrounding area (passage tombs similar to Newgrange).

 

Previous interpretations of the site considered it a long, but current research indicated it was a ceremonial pathway.  The soon to be king would come through pathway to coronation ceremony at the stone.1

 

1http://www.mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/tara/

Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Email: bellaceroc@cravencc.edu
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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