RUINS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE 9/2/13
When I caught that first glimpse of Newgrange over the rolling green hills of the Boyne Valley, I once again got that feeling of awe that I cherish so much. I spent many hours of my childhood reading a “Wonders of the World” book so I long had the image of this ancient place etched in my mind. After seeing pictures for so many years, I was finally here, at one of the oldest man-made places on the planet. Inside, I walked down the sole passageway, ducking under the weathered monolithic stones that held up the mound of earth above. It was breathtaking to see the symbols and patterns etched into the ancient stones. There was an atmosphere to the place that stirred the imagination and the soul, as if we were, for the moment, connected to some long-forgotten world of our ancestors. Continuing our deliberately unplanned adventure, we found a map in the visitors center, picked some destinations from it, and took off into the countryside, not quite sure what we would find.
We got lost trying to find a town called Trim, and as the light was fading, stumbled upon some stone ruins in a field on the side of the road. We got out to explore and were delighted to find a labyrinth of passageways and courtyards that used to be an abbey. Exploring and climbing, I was brought back to my childhood fantasy of wanting to be Indiana Jones. Bective Abbey would prove to be just the first of many ruins to explore in Ireland.