Well around home today it’s been raining and is quite mild. Who would have thought that this time last year we were thawing out just after a blanket of snow. Sadly we don’t get much snow in Ireland, which is a great shame as I absolutely love the stuff; hence why I went to Canada for Christmas (but that’s in another post to come 😉 ).
I remember there had been reports all week on Twitter and Facebook etc of people around various parts of the country getting snow, but around my house still remained emerald-green 😦 . It had snowed but thawed practically straight away which was quite annoying. Then on the 20th for some reason I was in my attic room pottering around when I looked out of the window, it was a cloudy morning and in the distance I looked at the familiar mound of Carnbane East, only this time it was totally white. Well I was like a child on Christmas morning, I ran tearing down the stairs announcing to my husband I was going to Loughcrew Cairns with my camera. My husband bless him is well used to these outbursts by now and he knows it’s his decision as to whether he joins me or not, but he knows that he has to be quick as I won’t hang around 😉 So on this occasion he decided to join me.
Carnbane East is only a 15 minute drive from home, a bit longer when the weather is out of the ordinary. It is the highest point in County Meath at a staggering 276m above sea level, I know, I know, those of you that live in mountainous areas are laughing your socks off right now; well it’s the highest point in my county and we’re proud of it. Plus how many of you can say you have a stone age tomb on the top dating back to around 3000BC (one to us 😉 ) this is known as Loughcrew Cairns. I have another post planned to give you more details on the tombs, but for this one I just want to enjoy the snow.
From the car park it’s a short but very steep walk to the top. Believe me if you’re not fit (like I wasn’t at the time) this is a challenge, but well worth it.
I was amazed to see that some Broom had started to flower, which I thought was very early. The poor plant must have wandered what on earth was going on with the sudden snowfall.
When you eventually reach the top, the views of Meath are astounding. I used the panoramic mode on my phone to take the following pictures.
I love this little feature on the new iPhone, but beware when it’s windy like it was on this day, it takes some balancing to keep it straight.
Once you reach the top you are faced with the amazing spectacle that is Loughcrew Cairn T. I have to say it looks quite magical covered in snow.
The mound is 35m in diameter and is built with loose grey limestone. There are also six smaller tombs around the main tomb, although they look more like stone circles now than they do tombs.
As you walk around the main tomb you will find the entrance.
It faces East, so that during the March and September equinoxes the light from the rising sun enters the chamber and illuminates the back stone. Even the snow managed to get in there.
Someone else had also been enjoying the snow…….
As I walked around the summit looking for possible photographs, I looked down the hill to the fields below and loved the way the criss-cross of the hedges stood out in the winter white.
It was starting to get late and the clouds were gathering. The snow was starting to fall again and we were getting cold, so it was time to head back. However my biggest piece of advice to everyone is keep checking what is happening behind you. Sure enough as I glanced behind me, a break in the clouds had softly illuminated the Cairn and had given me one last moment to cherish 🙂
So until next time folks; enjoy the winter, embrace everything it has to offer because before you know it those opportunities will be gone, and spring will have sprung 🙂 .