After a day like yesterday, today was planned to perfect as a day to rest up and recover from all the walking that was done the previous day. Today's agenda included a trip to Newgrange and Trim Castle, both having many tourists yearly.
After getting on the bus at the new designated "bus stop," we then traveled to the likes of Newgrange near the River Boyne. We first arrived at the travel center where we discovered a little gift shop and a little cafe for breakfast. The breakfast options were really great where I had homemade mince pie followed by a little creation of caramel and chocolate (very rich). To top it off, just a bit of apple juice. After eating breakfast and getting some gifts for the family (hopefully they read this!!!), we then went off on our journey to the bus that would take us up to Newgrange. The path to the bus included several little bridges that also crossed the River Boyne. When we reached the bus, one of our student teacher members found a small bird that was stuck inside. Sure enough with some handiness we were able to let the bird free.
Once we got to the location of Newgrange, the view was coming into place. Not only was it early in the morning, but the weather for the entire weekend was just perfect to make picture taking remarkable. After a little wait, we then walked up to the structure with the tour guide talking about the surmountable history of the structure. The fact that the structure may be over 5000 years old basically makes the structure older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. After waiting for the first group to go inside (the entrance is very small and usually only 20 some people are allowed inside and can fit inside respectively), I was able to join the rest of the group in the second viewing. The entrance to the middle location was very narrow and a person of 6 feet 4 inches (directed towards my dad) would probably have knee pain for the next couple days. Finally getting to the middle location, the tour guide directed us around the inside and made our attention to the artificial light display they created to show how the light from the sun during the Winter Solstice was directed through the opening. After the little showing, we then headed back outside the structure and headed back to the visitor center.
The next stop of the day involved a long trip to Trim Castle. Trim Castle, just like Newgrange, entertains many tourists during the year due to its historical background as well as the site of the 1994 movie "Braveheart." (Along our ride to Trim, we had several opportunities to view and see such other castles and different structures with historical background). When we arrived at Trim, the weather once again was perfect for the tour. We went inside the castle and was told of the importance of each room including a worship room, dining room, bathing room, and even the weaponry room. After going through many different rooms and hallways and small walkways, we then headed to the top of the structure where we were able to see out across the horizon of Ireland. After taking many pictures, we then made our way back down to the bus.
On our way back home, John Nolan pointed out several neat places along the motorway, including different schools, the location of where many athletes stay during events, and the two main technology buildings in the area: Intel and Hewlett-Packard.
Finally making it back home, my roommate and I decided to stay home for dinner to meet up with the family, do our laundry, and finish lessons for the next day. Overall, the day was a great way to recover and fairly laid back to get ready for the upcoming week in the classroom and the Thanksgiving trip.
By now I am so ready to finally teach in the classroom - I love observing in the classroom and seeing the many similarities and the few differences, but I cannot wait to use my voice and convey my knowledge of mathematics. Tomorrow is the big day!