|We were luckier at Newgrange with our guide than we had been at Knowth. He was far more interested and interesting, even though he had such a short amount of time to "talk the talk".
I had been so thoroughly warned about the commercialism of this site that I turned up expecting to be disappointed; a great idea, as it turns out, because it was actually less Disneyfied than I had imagined and I had a great time!
We really didn't have enough time to walk around the outside of the site though and our photos felt rushed rather than thought out - I think we just pointed and clicked, hoping we could get it all in! That evening, when I read about the site I realised that we had missed loads of interesting stuff. Ah well, good excuse for a return visit.
At Loughcrew I felt quite emotional, seeing inside the passage and into the chamber. A similar thing happened here but it was the roof which took my breath away. I just kept staring up at it, unable to comprehend the incredible feat of engineering I was witnessing. I'm not sure about the facade of the tomb, whether the quartz was indeed used as a covering, although it seems as plausible as using gypsum to cover sites. I liked the idea of it being used as a ceremonial walkway though.
All in all, I was mightily impressed with Newgrange and I have to say that, if you have to have a visitor centre, then have one like this! It was very sympathetically designed and the interpretative centre was pretty good.
Just to echo others here; as we were leaving around 2pm, they were turning people away as all of the tours were fully booked. I would recommend you get there by lunchtime at the latest (oh and the food was great too....I now have a bottle of Bru Na Boinne springwater on my shelf with Newgrange on the label; great souvenir!!)
This post appears as part of the weblog entry VVXX Phase 3 - Ireland
Posted by Vicster
27th August 2006ce