Today was our last day in Northern Ireland and our last day on the Shamrocker Bus Tour. After staying in hostels in small towns, I was missing Belfast and our nice hotel. This was our last day in the Irish countryside. After today the rest of our time will be spent in big cities. I can’t get over how much open land there is. Driving through and exploring the rolling Irish hills has been a highlight of the trip. There is so much green here. Standing on the top of these hill you can see open fields for miles.
We visited some ancient sites today, Sliabh na Calliagh and the Hill of Tara. At Sliabh na Calliagh there is a tomb with carvings that are 5000 years old, older than both Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza. Our guide Conor told us that this was an old pagan site where they believed spirits and demons could come through into our world. He also told use that the tradition of dressing up on Halloween began with pagans in Ireland trying to hide from evil spirits on October 31st.
The Hill of Tara was the capital of the ancient Irish kingdoms. All of the old Irish roads lead to the Hill of Tara. It was where the High King of Ireland would be crowned. There was a rock there that Conor said if you touched it and it screamed loud enough for all of Ireland to hear, you became the next High King of Ireland. We arrived in Dublin today, and I already miss the peaceful country side. Exploring the wild fields can’t compare to anything in the city. I’ll also miss waking up to sheep instead of traffic. I am still excited for what is to come, but I already miss the hills of Ireland.