Megalithomania - Trip Blog http://www.megalithomania.com Ireland's most popular megalithic website en-gb megalithomania@megalithomania.com http://backend.userland.com/rss 600 megalithomania http://www.megalithomania.com/graphics/rss_logo.gif http://www.megalithomania.com 200 30 Thu, 09 May 2013 00:00:00 +0100May 09, 2013: Back On The Road After Far Too Long - 0 SitesThu, 09 May 2013 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/300There's a wonderful feeling I used to experience and for far too long took or granted. That feeling is the one of parking the car, walking to the back, putting on a pair of walking boots and getting excited about seeing something new! It's such a simple thing, but it's wonderful.<br /> <br /> I had the chance to spend a few wet days in Armagh and decided I would try to take it easy, but visit some places again, and see some new monuments. When staying in Armagh you can't avoid going to Navan Fort and the King's Stables, even if you've been there before, so these were the main targets of the first day. The weather meant I had to do them in a weird order, starting at the King's Stables, visiting a couple of other sites and then coming back to Navan Fort.<br /> <br /> I also had a look round Armagh Museum, too. It's small, but does have some nice items on show. Apart from the Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts, there is one of the skulls found in the King's Stables. The a lot of the displays are natural history and some very fine costumes. It's worth a visit if you have an hour or so.BlogJune 17, 2012: A Loop Of The Blackstairs To See Some Rock-Art - 3 SitesSun, 17 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/299What's this? Out to see sites two weeks in a row after such a long absence? Yes! A while ago I asked for ideas and my good friend [url:http://www.shadowsandstone.com]Ken Williams[/url] suggested two of these places and told me how to find the third.<br /> <br /> All three of the rock-art panels I visited today have been moved from their original location. Two if them were found built into field walls, while no-one is really sure where the third came from exactly. They are all fairly accessible - one is even signposted (well, sort of), although two are quite remote. One is right beside a busy road!<br /> <br /> At the first site I got very lucky and arrived at the perfect time of day for the light to be striking the panel from the side. I wasn't so lucky at the other two as the weather started deteriorating. At least the rain held off until I was on my way home.BlogJune 17, 2012: A Loop Of The Blackstairs To See Some Rock-Art - 6 SitesSun, 17 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/298What's this? Out to see sites two weeks in a row after such a long absence? Yes! A while ago I asked for ideas and my good friend [url:http://www.shadowsansstone.com]Ken Williams[/url] suggested two of these places and told me how to find the third.<br /> <br /> All three of the rock-art panels I visited today have been moved from their original location. Two if them were found built into field walls, while no-one is really sure where the third came from exactly. They are all fairly accessible - one is even signposted (well, sort of), although two are quite remote. One is right beside a busy road!<br /> <br /> At the first site I got very lucky and arrived at the perfect time of day for the light to be striking the panel from the side. I wasn't so lucky at the other two as the weather started deteriorating. At least the rain held off until I was on my way home.BlogJune 10, 2012: Going Local Down in Kilmashogue - 8 SitesSun, 10 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/297Last week I asked for suggestions of local places that I could visit that I'd never visited. As one person commented, this is a tough challenge. However, one of the suggestions was a stone I'd looked for many years ago, but had never found. When I found it today I found out why. I was told it was much further down the road it is on and opposite the old church, not the new one!<br /> <br /> This piece of earth-fast rock has a rectangular hole in it, presumably it was a cross base. While I was in the area I simply had to go back to <a href="/show/site/22/kilmashogue.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Kilmashogue - Grid Ref: O 151 244<br /> OS Sheet 50<br /> Last visited: Sunday, 10th June 2012 CE">Kilmashogue</a> (County Dublin). It's been over 10 years since I was last there and it's only just up the road.<br /> <br /> It's good to have been out again. Hopefully, I will be able to gather some momentum and keep visiting a few sites a month over the summer.BlogApril 30, 2011: A Quick Stop At The Druids' Judgement Seat - 9 SitesSat, 30 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/296I was in the area so I decided to pop in to the Druids' Judgement Seat to see how it was being kept up. The area is still well-maintained, which is great to see. I took a little video, too, while I was here.BlogApril 30, 2011: A Quick Stop At The Druids' Judgement Seat - 10 SitesSat, 30 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/295I was in the area so I decided to pop in to the Druids' Judgement Seat to see how it was being kept up. The area is still well-maintained, which is great to see. I took a little video, too, while I was here.BlogMay 24, 2012: A Quick Tour of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth and Monasterboice - 14 SitesThu, 24 May 2012 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/294I had some friends over to stay with me for a few days and after a trip into Dublin to see the Book of Kells and to the National Museum we went to Knowth, Newgrange, Dowth and Monasterboice.<br /> <br /> I wasn't feeling too well after walking around Knowth, so I went back and waited at the vistor centre while they went to Newgrange. We then went to Dowth and had a thistle-encroached picnic and then on to Monasterboice.<br /> <br /> Today was special for me, because it was the first time I'd taken my grandson to an Irish monument! Imagine that! I had always thought he'd be at his first stone circle before he could crawl.BlogApril 25, 2011: A Promontory Fort, A Long Cist, Some Sand Martins And An Otter Skull - 17 SitesMon, 25 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/293To see how well I'd recovered from my recent illness I decided to drive to the other side of the country and visit Tatjana in Sligo. I'm not sure how wise that was, but it turned out to be a great day.<br /> <br /> We went to visit a promontory fort and its associated monuments. Id' seen this site from the sea as we sailed to Inishmore last June.<br /> <br /> The monument itself is very well preserved and very easy to access. However, for me the highlight of the day was sitting and eating lunch with a swarm of sand martins flying around us! How awesome is that!?BlogJanuary 02, 2011: St. Doolagh's Church & wells - Balgriffin - 20 SitesSun, 02 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/292This is one of the trips I lost when I had to swap to a new server after the hacking incident, so I am reentering them.<br /> <br /> Over the last two years my wife has mentioned open days at a church in North Dublin and suggested we go. For various reasons we haven't, but recently several posts on the megalithomania forum have mentioned the church and, in particular its unusual holy wells. This seemed like a good enough trigger for me to finally go and see the church, although without the benefit of an open day. The service was on while I was wandering around, so I could have stayed and spoken to someone, but I didn't have much time.<br /> <br /> The church - St. Doulagh's in Balgriffin - is a really interesting site. It is one of the only stone-roofed churches in Ireland still standing and it has the only freestanding baptistry left in the whole of Ireland. Much more should be made of this church and its features (including a lepers' window where sick people could receive communion) from a tourist point of view.<br /> <br /> So, that's it: the first visit of 2011 done, and quite rightly inspired by my wife and the people who contribute to the forums here. Happy New Year to you all and may your visits be informative and enlightening!BlogNovember 17, 2010: Tom The Guide Goes To Newgrange - 21 SitesWed, 17 Nov 2010 00:00:00 +0000http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/291After a fine week in Portugal I didn't feel too great, but I was very happy that I'd already arranged to take a friend over from Wales to Newgrange and surrounding sites. We couldn't see Knowth due to it being closed for the winter, but we did see Dowth, Fourknocks and Monasterboice.<br /> <br /> At this time of year you obviously don't get much daylight, so we couldn't see much else. I know Simon enjoyed finally getting to Newgrange - who doesn't enjoy this magnificent monument when they go there for the first time!?BlogOctober 10, 2010: A Day On Leean Mountain - 27 SitesSun, 10 Oct 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/290Today I had the privilege to have a guided tour of Leean Mountain by Tatjana Kymannow who has studied the area extensively over recent years and discovered an amazing amount of new monuments. The court tomb has been known for many years, but the quantity of hut sites and the like was unknown. I can't remember the total figure of hut sites, but we saw at least 20!<br /> <br /> The court tomb is great even if it has been almost structurally destroyed. There is also a small wedge tomb or possibly a large kist nearby and a chambered cairn on the other side of the mountain. The really amazing monument, though, is a massive boulder circle that is quite unique so far. This has large boulders standing on plinths, where both the boulders and plinths have been altered in prehistory.<br /> <br /> I got the arranged meeting time wrong by an hour and so we had to rush around bits of the mountainside, but we saw loads and I'll be back one day. The weirdest thing we saw was a huge leech! I didn't even know we had them in Ireland. The best thing I saw was the flint blade I found! WOW! My first lithic! I wouldn't have found this if I wasn't with Tatjana, so: Thank you, Tatjana, for a great day!.BlogAugust 22, 2010: Rough Camping In Mayo - Day 2 - And A Bit Of Sligo, too - 29 SitesSun, 22 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/289We woke up to a glorious morning after camping by a beautiful beach. After eating and making sure we had left no rubbish lying around we decided to head back towards Sligo and see some monuments on the way. We went to see <a href="/show/site/915/carrowkilleen.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Carrowkilleen - Grid Ref: G 083 168<br /> OS Sheet 23<br /> Last visited: Sunday, 22nd August 2010 CE">Carrowkilleen</a> (County Mayo) first - how could I resist taking Tatjana to see three court tombs in one spot? Sadly this monument has become very, very overgrown.<br /> <br /> After that we drove around near Aughris Head in Sligo and Tatjana pointed out some amazing mounds and barrows that I will visit in the New Year. We then went to the portal tomb at <a href="/show/site/1120/ardabrone.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Ardabrone - Grid Ref: G 550 343<br /> OS Sheet 25<br /> Last visited: Sunday, 22nd August 2010 CE">Ardabrone</a> (County Sligo) and spoke to the farmer who told us a very interesting bit of folklore about the site.BlogAugust 21, 2010: Rough Camping In Mayo - Day 1 - A Mixed Collection - 37 SitesSat, 21 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/288Myself and Tatjana headed for Mayo to see some megaliths - I think someone's trying to tell me that I should get on with my next book - [i][b]Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Mayo[/b][/i]. She suggested that we camp rough at a very nice spot she knew - a place I had to promise not to divulge. It is a wonderful location and we were able to watch seals and seabirds fishing just metres from our tents.<br /> <br /> We started off by visiting some of my favourites that Tatjana had not been to and a friary that I had always wanted to visit, because of the carving of a round tower on one of its pillars. We went to <a href="/show/site/1979/carrowleagh.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Carrowleagh - Grid Ref: G 364 210<br /> OS Sheet 24<br /> Last visited: Saturday, 21st August 2010 CE">Carrowleagh</a> (County Mayo) first and then onto the friary, followed by the ogham stone and wedge tomb at Breastagh (see <a href="/show/site/675/breastagh.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Breastagh - Grid Ref: G 183 338<br /> OS Sheet 24<br /> Last visited: Saturday, 21st August 2010 CE">Breastagh</a> (County Mayo) and <a href="/show/site/676/breastagh.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Breastagh - Grid Ref: G 183 341<br /> OS Sheet 24<br /> Last visited: Sunday, 4th August 2002 CE">Breastagh</a> (County Mayo) respectively). Then Tatjana showed me the most incredibly obvious barrow, which surprisingly no one had noticed until she discovered it a couple of years ago (I spotted another potentially new one close by, too.) <br /> <br /> Then we started to head towards the camping spot via <a href="/show/site/1377/rathlackan.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Rathlackan - Grid Ref: G 166 388<br /> OS Sheet 24<br /> Last visited: Saturday, 21st August 2010 CE">Rathlackan</a> (County Mayo) and some barrows on Downpatrick Head, near to <a href="/show/site/669/ceide_fields.htm" class='redlink' title="Goto Ceide Fields - Grid Ref: G 052 408<br /> OS Sheet 23<br /> Last visited: Sunday, 4th August 2002 CE">Ceide Fields</a> (County Mayo). We got caught in the rain here and nearly went home, but decided that the camping spot was far enough away that the weather might improve. It did improve and we had a pleasant evening drinking wine and chatting.BlogAugust 01, 2010: A Week In Donegal - Day 7 - One Stop On The Way Home - 38 SitesSun, 01 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/287After packing up the tent and taking it easy we set off home with just one site on our [i]to see[/i] list - the triple wedge tomb to the north of Dunkinelly. The site is signposted [i]Wedge Tombs[/i] from the village, but the final bit is not marked, so you have to look out for the parking spot and then just follow the track up the hill. Take care, because the track is slippery in places and had large gorse bushes nearly blocking part of it.<br /> <br /> The short climb is truly worth the effort, though. Three wedge tombs side-by-side is something you don't see everyday!BlogJuly 31, 2010: A Week In Donegal - Day 6 - The Great Cross Slab Hunt - 42 SitesSat, 31 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/286We wanted to take it easy today so only a few of sites were on our visit list. I wanted to take Uta to Doon Well and I wanted to find the cross slab at Drunhallagh. I can't actually remember the others on the list, but Drumhallagh was such a pain to find that we called it a day after I finally found it.<br /> <br /> A few years ago finding Drumhallagh would have been quite straight forward, because a local priest put a fenced path in to take you straight to it. Sadly, the entrance to this path and the path itself has become very overgrown. Finding the stone was made harder by the fact that the official coordinates for the stone are a long way out and the slab is on the opposite side of a hedge to this incorrect location. The hunt was eventually rewarded when I found the slab. What a beauty it is! There's also a small bullaun stone nearby, too.BlogJuly 30, 2010: A Week In Donegal - Day 5 - Airbed Interuptus - 45 SitesFri, 30 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/285Today we had to change our plans and go into Letterkenny to buy a new airbed, because ours sprung a leak at 11pm the previous night. After driving around the town to find the Argos and then stopping off to buy some food for the rest of the week we only had time to see a few places.<br /> <br /> The first stop was Conwal graveyard just outside Letterkenny. Here there are lots of early grave slabs mounted onto a large rectangular platform. Some are large and mediaeval-looking, while others are earlier.<br /> <br /> Then we went to try to find two high street bullaun stones, but only found one, and on the way home we stopped at Keel church to see the huge, undecorated high cross.BlogJuly 29, 2010: A Week In Donegal - Day 4 - Inishkeel And A Portal Tomb - 51 SitesThu, 29 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/284We obtained the local tide times from the visitor centre at Kilclooney More and headed for the beach at Portnoo to park up and cross the sands to Inishkeel, an island with two churches and several cross slabs. The low and high tides were quite far apart, so we knew we had plenty of time to make the crossing (about 800m), see the sites and get back. I didn't expect so many other people to make the crossing, too, but the island got very busy shortly after we got there.<br /> <br /> The island has recently passed into the possession of the OPW (the house is still owned by someone else) , and one of the churches has had its end wall rebuilt. You can still see the numbers on the bricks where they were marked before the wall was taken down. They don't seem to make any sense and it looks like they were not put back in the same order that they were taken off in, but I may be wrong.<br /> <br /> The other church is quite ruinous, but it has been rebuilt in the distant past with random parts of decorated stone that looks like old door columns and bits of arches. This give the front face a very unusual look.<br /> <br /> We found three of the cross slabs that are supposed to be here, but the others have either been stolen or moved for safe keeping while the restoration work is being carried out.<br /> <br /> After leaving the island when it started to rain we headed back to the Kilclooney More centre for coffee and a bun. From there we set out (by car and foot) to see the portal tomb at Lackaghatermon. As is quite typical for me I chose the hard way to approach - from the west - which took us over bog, deep ditches and barbed wire fences.BlogJuly 28, 2010: A Week In Donegal - Day 3 - Malin More And Glencolmcille - 63 SitesWed, 28 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/283If there's one area of Donegal a megalith enthusiast should visit it is Malin More. With so many tombs to see it is an amazing area. We had arranged to meet up with Tatjana Kytmannow, who knows this area very well.<br /> <br /> We met up at the mighty Malin More court tomb and then visited the one double portal tomb that I had never managed to find, before heading off to see some of the other tombs in the townland. After exploring Malin More we headed for Glencolmcille to see the court tomb at Faranmacbride and to take a tour of some of the cross pillars that are dotted all around the area.<br /> <br /> We had a great day seeing everything. Tatjana was going to stay overnight, but the weather turned ugly and she headed home. Tomorrow myself and Uta decided to go to see two old churches on an island. This has become a year of islands for me.BlogJuly 27, 2010: A Week In Donegal - Day 2 - Settling In - 65 SitesTue, 27 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/282After settling in to our campsite near Crolly on day 1 we set off to have a look around on day 2. This holiday, with my wife Uta, was not really about the stones, but a relaxing break for us both. This day did not involve much site-seeing, but turned out to be a useful day.<br /> <br /> Firstly, we went to the double portal tomb at Toome, because I had heard that it had been cleared. Then we went to Kilclooney Moore - a place you just have to go to if you're close by. While having a cup of coffee, a scone and a smoothie at the Kiclooney Visitor Centre we planned the next few days and got some good information about visiting a couple of the islands off the Donegal coast.BlogJuly 24, 2010: The Megalithomania Meet-Up 2010 : Rath Croghan - 75 SitesSat, 24 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/281The people from the megalithomania forums (plus a few others) met up to get to know each other and explore the amazing monuments that make up the Rath Croghan complex in County Roscommon. Not everyone could attend, but 10 of us braved the early rain and were rewarded with a fine day amongst good people and great monuments. I don't think any of us truly expected all the sites to be so good.<br /> <br /> We met for an initial coffee and chat at the Cruachan Ai visitor centre in Tulsk and set off to Rath Croghan itself, the massive mound along side the road. While we were here it was raining, but we still enjoyed a walk and a chat. From there we moved on to Rath Mor, the inaugural mound and then to Rath Beg, a large roadside stepped barrow.<br /> <br /> A short distance down the road we saw what must be Ireland's largest barrow - 85m in diameter - You could fit Newgrange into that! That's big! From there we went to Oweynagat, a site that is difficult to find, but worth the effort. This is a souterrain that leads into a cave, which is said to link to Kesh mountain in Sligo. A mythical boar is said to have erupted from here and created the earthworks in the surrounding fields with his tusks. Not all of us made it into the cave, but those that did really enjoyed themselves and got very, very muddy!<br /> <br /> The next stop was to be Daithi's Stone, a standing stone set on top of a mound. We got close, but the presence of a very large bull in the field stopped us at the gate. Between Oweynagat and Daithi's Stone we came across a large enclosure with a souterrain inside it.<br /> <br /> Although there is much more to see at Rath Croghan it was now getting late and we decided it was time to return to Crauchan Ai for more coffee and a chat before going our separate ways.<br /> <br /> Many thanks to all those that attended for making the day so special. I think it's Sligo for the next one.BlogJuly 11, 2010: A Day At Some Carlow Castles And Other Sites - 81 SitesSun, 11 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/280I had recently seen a castle on this page on the internet: http://www.thestandingstone.ie/2010/01/ballymoon-castle-co-carlow.html - a great site run by [i]TheStandingStone[/i] from the megalithomania.com forums. Wow! What a place ... and it's free to visit, too. There is also a comment on that page recommending Ballyloughlan Castle, so these were my targets for the day.<br /> <br /> Before visiting the castles I went to Nurney, near Leighlinbridge, to see the two crosses there. For some reason I had got my bearings wrong when I entered the village and it took me ages to find the crosses.<br /> <br /> Ballymoon castle is a strange one; a large, semi-ruined or unfinished, square court yard castle, not a towerhouse. Much of the nice stonework has gone, but there are still traces of the finery that this building once had. It's a great place for walk around and explore, with chambers in the walls and a fine view of Mount Leinster.<br /> <br /> Ballyloughlan castle has a fine gatehouse, a fairly well-preserved corner tower and a ruined corner tower. These three buildings stand alone in the field: the walls that joined them up have been taken away, presumably to build the large ruined farm complex at the top of a nearby field.<br /> <br /> As I was driving back I came across signposts to Rathnagerragh Castle. Following these brought me to a relatively disappointing ruin.<br /> <br /> After all this 'modern' stuff I had to visit something a bit more megalithic. To free myself from the feelings of guilt that I was experiencing about enjoying visits to to the such modern structures I went to Castleruddery Lower stone circle. It's a bit over grown at this time of year and the sheep in the field seem to be staying out of the stones.BlogJune 20, 2010: Inishmurray Here I come ... Oh Yes I Do! - 91 SitesSun, 20 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/279This is it. Finally I am going to get to Inishmurray. Conor Hill needed to take core samples for his research and a boat had been chartered. Thorsten &amp; Tatjana invited me along to make up the numbers, and we were joined by Ruth, Maria, Jean and four tourists to bring the cost of the boat charter down.<br /> <br /> The journey from Rosses Point to Inishmurray takes about 1 hour 40 minutes and we were blessed with calm waters. We didn't get any dolphins on the way, but we did see many seabirds, including 2 puffins. Along the journey Tatjana, who knows Sligo so well, pointed out lots of interesting sites and landscape features to us.<br /> <br /> Landing at Inishmurray is interesting. There is no constructed quay, but the square-edged rocks do form a natural harbour on the south side of the island, just below the deserted village. We didn't have the island to ourselves for long, as several charter and private boats came along throughout the day.<br /> <br /> Inishmurray is best known for its early Christian monastery, which is located inside a cashel. Inside there are churches, a beehive hut, cross slabs and leachts or altars. Many of the cross slabs from the island have been removed for safety and some replicas are being made to replace them [i]in situ[/i].<br /> <br /> It's so hard to say what my favourite part of the visit was. The cross slabs that remain are beautiful. The semi-ruined sweathouse is cute. The cashel and its enclosed monuments are fantastic and must be the best part, although the island itself is simply a great place to be. I will definitely revisit here in a few years time, hopefully to see the replica cross slabs in place.<br /> <br /> I have been trying to get out here for years and, for various reasons, have never managed to sort it out. I owe Thorsten and Tatjana a big favour! Thanks for inviting me.BlogJune 19, 2010: Time To Visit Some Sligo Tombs - 104 SitesSat, 19 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/278Sligo has too much to offer. It amazes me that there is more stuff being discovered there all the time. The monuments I went to today are not new discoveries, although one of them is a surprising recent rediscovery, and the evening ended with what I believe is a new Summer Solstice observation.<br /> <br /> The plan for the day was to visit some of the tombs I haven't yet visited and spend the evening at Carrowkeel watching the sun set through the lightbox in Cairn G. The weather was perfect for this for the first time in many years. I managed to get some good photos of the start of the event, but missed the final moments when it's at its most spectacular. I wondered off to give the many other people chance to enjoy it and got back to the tomb a few minutes too late to see it. After seeing a photograph taken by someone inside I was a bit miffed. Oh well. There'll be other years. I had actually gone off to visit Cairn M - one I'd not been to yet. While here I saw something that could be special.<br /> <br /> During the day I visited five tombs - a portal tomb, three court tombs and a wedge tomb. One of the court tombs is very much a portal/court hybrid and if you removed several stones the remains would be interpreted as a portal tomb. The portal tomb I visited has been missing for a long time. What? Well, it was reported as destroyed and everyone assumed that it was gone completely. Even the recent Archaeological Survey missed it. Then Tatjana Kytmannow visited the site whilst preparing her PhD and was surprised to find the fallen remains of this once lovely portal tomb.<br /> <br /> This was a good day out and the weekend was due to continue with a boat trip out to Inishmurray the day after ...BlogJune 06, 2010: A Very Quick Trip To Inishmore - And About Time, Too - 108 SitesSun, 06 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/277How has it taken me so long to get out to one of the Aran Islands? I can't really answer that question, but what I can say is that, now that I have been there I'll be back sooner rather than later!<br /> <br /> Uta and myself went away for the Bank Holiday weekend to Galway. We camped near Roundstone and went to Kylemore Abbey on the Saturday to see the wonderful Victorian walled garden and the house itself. The entrance fee was a bit expensive, but we had a good time (between the rain storms).<br /> <br /> We took the 10:30am ferry to Inishmore from Rossaveal and returned on the 5:00pm ferry. We're not at all fit, so hiring bikes to tour the island on didn't seem such a clever idea. Instead we joined one of the minibus tours for 10 euro each. This took us to several places and gave us a tour of the island to get a feel for it for the next time we visit. Our driver was Rory, a nice bloke with a good knowledge of the island.<br /> <br /> The next time I go to the islands I'll be staying for at least two days so that I can see all the stuff I didn't manage to see on such a short trip. The island might be small, but there's so much of interest there that you probably need a full week!BlogMay 15, 2010: Inishmurray Here I Come ... Oh No I Don't - 111 SitesSat, 15 May 2010 00:00:00 +0100http://www.megalithomania.com/show/blog/276I had been invited to join a boat trip to Inishmurray off the Sligo coast to see the wonderful early monastery there, so I drove up to Sligo and camped at Rosses Point on Friday night and waited to hear if the weather was going to be kind. Sadly, the weather looked too bad and the boat trip was cancelled. We're going to try again in a few weeks time.<br /> <br /> Luckily my hosts, Thorsten and Tatjana, had back-up plans and we headed off for Streedagh and Dernish Island instead. Tatjana is studying the archaeology of these two areas (among others) and has made some great discoveries, which she kindly showed me. She hasn't published these findings yet, so I can't tell you about them ... much sadness! However, when they are published I'll be back there and tell you all about them. I can post information on two standing stones and a fine wedge tomb, though.<br /> <br /> I was going to stay another night and go to see some more monuments in the area and then head to north Mayo to do some research for my next book, [i]Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Mayo[/i], but the weather turned bad and I decided to gather up my tent and head home.<br /> <br /> Tatjana wrote her Phd dissertation about Portal Tombs, so I got to talk about prehistoric monuments all day and got loads of tips about ones to visit, so I'll be back soon with a good list of tombs to see.Blog