Slane and Newgrange were our first visits out of the gates and into Ireland. We were amazed that people were SO nice in Ireland. It was a great contrast to the general public in Spain. We found this wonderful hostel/hotel in Slane, hit up the town butcher for some pricey pieces of beef and some wine and veggies, and headed back to cook it up. After the same food day after day in Spain, the idea of a barbeque'd piece of beef was heaven. It was the most delicious meal I have had in Europe, and we made it! It was also possibly the best homecooked meal in a home away from home.
Newgrange was a great site to start with in Ireland. According to our tour, and thanks to Wikipedia for regurtitaing it for me: It is one of the passage tombs of the Bru Na Boinne complex in County Meath and the most famous prehistoric sites in Ireland, over 5,000 years old. Newgrange was built in such a way that at dawn on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, a narrow beam of sunlight for a very short time illuminates the floor of the chamber at the end of the long passageway. Newgrange lay hidden for over 4,000 years due to mound slippage, until the late 17th century, when men looking for building stone uncovered it, and described it as a cave. Newgrange was excavated and much restored between 1962 and 1975.
The Newgrange mound is 76m (250ft) across and 12m (40ft) high, and covers an entire acre. Within the mound, a long passage, stretching approximately one third of the length of the mound, leads to a cruciform (cross-shaped) chamber. The passage itself is over 18m (60ft) long. The burial chamber has a corbelled roof which rises steeply upwards to a height of nearly 6m (20 ft). A tribute to its builders, the roof has remained essentially intact and waterproof for over 5,000 years. Spiral motifs engraved on the magnificent entrance slab, "one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art" include a triple spiral motif, found only at Newgrange and repeated along the passage and again inside the chamber.
Trim Castle was one of the castles that was used my favorite movie Braveheart!!