Sunday, December 11, 2011

Newgrange and the Hill of Tara

Hello everyone!

Well today concludes my last weekend in Dublin, very bittersweet to say the least. This past week has been pretty low key, and the highlights have often been my runs (WOW! Never thought I would say that!).

This past week:
Monday: walking in and out of school
Tuesday: getting up before sunrise to go for a 7 mile run
Wednesday: walked in and jogged the half mile from the Luas stop home
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: 3 mile fast run to school and then jogging the half mile home
Saturday: 5 mile new-route run. This was my best run all week – it didn’t feel that long after doing 7 miles! And I got a good short full sprint in during part of it, which brought back many memories of when I did track! I forgot how fun it is to get up on your tippy-toes  :)

And today I didn’t run, but got up at 7:00 (after a very un-restful night’s sleep), and went on a tour of Newgrange and the Hill of Tara!

Newgrange was really cool; basically it is just this ancient tomb 5,000 years old, older than the pyramids and Stonehenge! It’s a bummer you can’t take pictures inside, but it leads down a passageway to a cross-shaped tomb with three little rooms for graves. The actual “mound” looks gigantic, but the tomb only stretches about a third of the way through.  Crazy!

The tour I went on ended up being one giant history lesson in Irish history and about the Boyne area. I am not going to write up a lecture here, but especially the stuff on Newgrange and Pagan rituals on the Hill of Tara I would recommend reading a short wiki article about.

View of the River Boyne

ahh bridges! this one shook

side of Newgrange
River Boyne again

it's huge!


front stone to protect entrance. you used to have to jump over it to get in!

see the little window?

side view

i'm fascinated by trees

anything with trees eh?

which do you like better?

or this?

So here’s the deal with Newgrange, and why it is famous. As you can see in some of the pictures, there is a little window above the door that lets sunlight in. the window was built parallel to the horizon, and on the days around winter solstice, at two minutes to nine the sun brilliantly shines through the window and illuminates the whole tomb. See if you can find pictures online, it’s epic.

Not that I got to see it though :/

Anyway, the Hill of Tara was pretty gorgeous too just…wet and windy. Haha to say the LEAST! So I apologize for some of the blurry or dark pictures.

On a nice day, this would be such a fun place to just race around with a dog or a horse :) haha
on the way going through Slane. it's a private castle where they have rock concerts. U2, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more have played here
this circular tower design originated in Ireland

cemetery outside the church in front of the Hill of Tara. see the blur in the corner? that's rain :P

it's basically epic openness 

i'm not sure why these pictures have an eerie glow to them...but i thought they all looked dream-like

these are from on top of the hill. on a nice day you can see nearly all the Irish counties 

the group hurriedly scurrying back to the bust

Well I can’t say anything really fantastical has occurred this week. Went to the Coop for the last time, packed up a suitcase of stuff (I still have an hour or so ahead of me), and I made baked oatmeal! Breaking my gluten free day, so right now I am up to:

Wheat free: 4 days
Gluten free: 9 days

Pretty good start?

Although nothing much happened this week, it has been a huge emotional roller coaster for me, and pretty depressing at times. Which was the primary reason I decided to make baked oatmeal :) I wrote the recipe in a larger quantity, because the pan I used was very small and more is better!

i served mine with rice milk and a bit of pineapple ginger jam i got!

Here’s the recipe!

Molasses Baked Oatmeal
Serves 4

  • 2 cups organic wholegrain oats
  • 4 cups of water or milk
  • 3 chopped up bananas
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil, chopped up small, “shaved”
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds, or chia seeds
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ t baking powder
  • 2 ½ t fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ t stevia powder, or 2 T of sucanat
  • About 2 T of molasses for drizzling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl
  3. Add the wet ingredients besides the molasses and stir
  4. Pour it all into the greased pan, and bake for about 35 minutes
  5. Take out of the oven and drizzle the molasses on over the top. Then put the pan back in the oven and bake for another ten minutes

If you like molasses like I do, you will love this. Keep in mind I made this on my limited supply and college budget, so I would encourage tampering with the recipe until you find what tastes best to you! I like this one though, because I love ginger and molasses and bananas!

I probably won’t post again until I am home and get some awesome baking done! I can’t wait to see my family and friends again, and I get to go on a ski trip with one of my oldest friends on the 21st, so that is very exciting! Ahh even though I will definitely miss Ireland and my friends here, I CAN’T WAIT to get home! I can barely contain my excitement :)

But this week I do get to go Ice Skating, and hopefully see Capitalism: A Love Story. Nice ways to end my last week, not to mention I plan on enjoying the great vegan fare here as often as I can :D

Oh, and here is my hopeful running schedule for my last week of running in an area that isn’t littered with hills.
Monday: 6.75 mile run
Tuesday: walk in or out of college
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: 8 miles!

This is once again a hopeful schedule. Wish me luck on the few early mornings!

Oh and a shout-out to the State Champs of Oregon in football! 'bout time guys ;)

Happy Holidays everyone :)


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