Celebrating the Winter Solace

Celebrating Life in Ireland


In 2009 our 27-year-old son was a visiting scholar at Trinity University in Dublin Ireland.

On the fabulous trip to see him we got to experience Newgrange…

Newgrange World Heritage site

Newgrange, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a prehistoric monument dating back over 5,000 years, The passage tomb features a 19m (62ft) long passage leading to a central chamber which is adorned with megalithic art. Remarkably, the monument is constructed in such a way that sunlight penetrates its inner sanctum on the mornings around the winter solstice.

The Winter Solstice Phenomenon

The winter solstice, which occurs around December 21st each year, marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. At Newgrange, during the sunrise on the mornings around the winter solstice, a breathtaking alignment takes place. The sun’s first rays pierce through a specially designed opening above the entrance called a roof-box, gradually illuminating the narrow passage. As the sun ascends, it bathes the central chamber in a warm glow, lasting for just 17 minutes.

Each Winter Solace I remember this trip…   


Poetry & Art & History    

This is from 1914

This looks like a fairytale got lost…


This called out – take a picture

I’m not a beer drinker but I had to take a sip of David’s Gunness – no thank you!


Different customs – one of the many benefits of travel are the different experiences –                    

Not right or wrong – just different – David had a bit of a challenge helping the baker

understand it’s MOM not MUM!                               

The Aran Islands

We bicycled all around the Aran Islands                             

Thatched roof cottages and Irish cows                   


Always a reminder how we are only on this earth for a short while…                       

Life’s little surprises…   

Julie & Elizabeth overlooking the cliffs            

We came upon a lake of wild swans              

The cozy B&B where we stayed on the Aran Islands…

So many more pictures & memories…

So many highlights & WOW moments on this trip…


Like stepping into a fairyland

Gnomes & Fairies were running around…

The sound of tiny, tinkling laughter & running water was all about…



Stepping into a different place & time…



Trinity College

I remember being so aware of HISTORY as I walked here…

David’s office at Trinity College

Father & Son

This is a lovely memory…

Our son, after earning his PhD from Notre Dame University, on a complete academic scholarship, and before he was hired at NASA Glen Research Center as the youngest engineer they ever hired – he was a Visiting Scholar at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Travel has been something our family eased into, first with my husband’s work and it grew from there. Bruce and I have a deposit down on a tour to Paris and the south of France for the spring of 2024.

Do you like to travel…tell me…

“The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.”  Julie A R Stephens

Living in the Mountains

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One thought on “Celebrating the Winter Solace”

  1. Oh Julie,
    You bring back Ireland to my memory – greens of different hues, muted light, water, poetry, sheep, ancient places, mystery.
    Beautiful pictures.
    Oh, I want to return!

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