Monday, August 23, 2010

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

A covered tomb at Carrowmore.

One of the joys of traveling is finding the out of the way spots you really want to see.  Carrowmore Megalithis Cemetery is such a place.  To put the location into BiB, Bill pulls up the road map, then touches the spot nearest to where we think it might be.  Most of the time it works fairly well.  This time it worked perfectly!  Also helped there was a sign when we reached the marked crossroads.   The South is a wee better organised about signs, although they may be in Irish instead of English. 

Cool and windy, but we enjoy the walk up the hill.  Several of the graves are not on the National property, but the landowners seem to be farming around them.  The don't mind if you walk the fields to have a look, just don't let the cows out.  These stone cairns match any fancy burial monument we seen.  Even Napoleon's tomb!  The dead were cremated, then placed here.  More than likely, they were folks of some importance, as there were not a lot of remains found.   There were women and children as well as a baby, so eveything is just speculation.

The biggest tomb is the one they are most proud of.  Very well preserved and on top of a hill, it is impressive.  One oddity, though.  Any of the other tombs whose rocks I touched, the rock was warm.  However, all the rocks on the big tomb were cold.  Same cold wind and location, no sunshine, why the difference?  Bill suggested that no one was there anymore. 

Back on the road, there is a Vista Point for Lough Key.  Now we had to stop because this is the only marked Vista Point we have seen in all our traveling around.  There is a huge metal sculpture of a Gaelic Chieftan on his horse.  Impressive.  The Lough is long, narrow and famous for it's fishing.

The Gaelic Chieftain on his horse.

We stop at the first B&B that is off the highway in Mullingar.  The hostess was at the door before I could knock.  The master of the house is a terrier mix, Buddy.  We were told, after Bill had given him a good rub, that Buddy doesn't like men.  Maybe it's just Irish men?  The next morning as were we loading the car, Buddy was sitting outside their side door, barking.  I walked over until he could see me and start talking to him.  He stops his barking, sits down and proceeds to wag his tail and listen to me.  I can hear the owner through the open door saying, "Would you look at that?  He's stopped barking and is sitting for her.  Amazing!"

Bulmer's Irish Cider with lunch.  Yum!
Our bedroom at Pettiswood House B & B in Mullingar.

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