After spending an hour at the Giant's Causeway Visitor's Center and having lunch, we were back on the road and taking pictures of Scotland in the distance, Bally castle Island, and Fairhead Cliff
Arriving at the outskirts of Belfast, we stopped in Carrickfergus for pictures of the Carrickfergus Castle, built in 1180 - 1190. We explored, took pictures and listened to a little history from our tour guide. After dinner in our hotel, we took a night tour of Belfast with a delightful local tour guide. She was very intelligent, interesting, informative and fun and after about ten minutes, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until everyone was getting off the bus to go to their rooms for the night. The next morning, after breakfast, we were heading out of
the area for our next destination, Tara and then Dublin, and as we were passing a neat little row of houses, with trees and flowers and shrubs, across the black roof of one of the houses was written with yellow
paint---"GOOD JOB HIILLERY".
I should mention, they love the Clintons here in Ireland and they don't understand why the U.S. is making such a fuss over the President Clinton's little indiscretions. And, I might add, they think he is doing a great job, at least the people who engaged me in conversation
felt that way.
And, then we arrived at Tara. So, let me quote from the book "Tara" by Edel Bhreathnach and Conor Newman: "Tara of the Kings, celebrated in myth and legend, is one of Ireland's premier archaeological sites. Although the hill is not a prominent feature of the landscape, it commands panoramic views of the Irish countryside and some of the richest and most fertile land in Ireland. Archaeology has established that human activity on the hilltop goes back to the Neolithic period, about five-and-a-half thousand years ago, while the earliest historical references to Tata can be dated to the seventh century AD. Despite all of this, the archaeological richness
of Tara is often not apparent to the extent that one often hears the remark that there is very little to see on the Hill of Tara."
Well, in my opinion, not only is there, the entire surrounding countryside to see, but there is the energy of the hill, itself, to feel. There were at least two or three others who, also, did not want to leave. It was such a glorious feeling, just standing there, breathing that clean air and experiencing that exhileration that comes with being in a power vortex. Then, to be told that it was this hill was first used by the Druids and then as a religious center and then by the High Kings of Ireland. And, those kings were not kings through heredity. They earned the kingship by fighting for it, or being elected. Every three years the people gathered there to celebrate, enact new laws, and settle disputes. There had been a banquet hall that held 700.
Apart from the hill of Tara, stands the Church of St. Patric which dates back to 1822 when is was restored.
There had been, I believe, two earlier churches there. But the only thing that held my attention was the hill. It drew me to it like a magnet. Some day, when I return to Ireland, I hope to spend at least a week right here and I will investigate the other archaeological sites in the area, connected with Tara.
Since we did not visit those sites (they are within two or three miles of the
hill) I will not go into them here, but will write up at report when I visit