When last we talked, there was the challenge of jet lag facing our heroes. I cruelly showed you a pint, and a donkey. Yeah, I know. Mean.
So, more pictures.
At the airport, our ride asked if we wanted to do the tour of the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren today (Friday) instead of Sunday. This required very little thought, and as he cheerily said, “but you probably would rather just go to the hotel and relax…” We said, “no, if we can go today, that would be very helpful.”
I think he was actually a bit disappointed.
To his credit, it passed quickly. He called his guide, and the after a stop at the hotel to drop our luggage, and a heading to an ATM to get some local currency, we were off. Just the three of us with our guide, whom we refer to as Frank I.
And this is the first thing we saw:
I can’t this moment remember *which* castle, and I’m not feeling the need to look it it up right this instant. The tour company’s website advertises the stop as the place we’d hear a dramatic tale of fiery redheads. The story is not half as interesting as the descriptor you just got. Your version is better than the tale we got, and which I’m going to be honest, I barely remember even now.
We didn’t stop very long. It was windy and a bit chilly.
They we went to this bronze age stone fort. Dad wanted to watch the sheep dog herding demonstration, so my sister and I went to look at the fort. (This was the one in the teaser. The donkey lives here, too. Well, not in the fort, but, the same people who have the fort have the donkey. )
This is all in a protected area know as The Burren. It’s a geologically fascinating area, with its own unique flora and fauna, and mostly tons of rocks. “The Burren” .which is a name that comes from an Irish word meaning “rocky place.”
We only had about 45 min here, but, that seemed just about right. Dad didn’t get to see all the tricks that a sheep dog can do, but didn’t seem too disappointed.
Practically, just across the road from this is the stone fort sheep herding place, is the Poulnabrone dolmen. This is a portal tomb, and this is this first of many times that I was grateful to be here during the slow season. There were more than a few tourists here, but, not so many that I didn’t get several pictures that were without people.
There are more than 90 such tombs in the Burren, and I feel a tad sad that the quiet of this sacred space in a rugged landscape is pretty much a revolving door of peeping tourists for half the year. Of course, as I am a peeping tourist, well, I can’t say too much, can I?
After this, we drove with the Burren to the southern edge of Galway Bay. (It’s there, the blue between the darker mountainy bits just under the clouds, and just about the gray and green of the rocky foreground. Those limestone rocks are the general ground cover of the Burren.
We continued along until we stopped for lunch at Ballyvaughan, on the edge of the bay. Something of a touristy place, we got there before the big coaches, and had the place to ourselves. I got fishcakes, and the pint of Guinness seen in the teaser. The food was much better than one would expect from a tourist place, and it was a fair price. The view was pretty good, too.
From here, we worked our way along, out of the Burren to the Cliffs of Moher.
They are as advertised. It was a clear day, if windy, and cool, but, you could see the Aran Islands from the top. It’s likely hard to tell how high up we are, standing on the tops of these things, but, it’s not a fall you’d recover from. There is a wall, but, there are places where you aren’t supposed to go, which were visited by people with little sense, who could, with a good gust (of which there were clearly many) and a bit of unbalance, would find themselves getting a burial at sea. I myself offered a sacrifice of Euros, after pulling my hand out of my pocket, not realizing it had dislodged from the depths, and in a heartbeat it was zooming its way to a watery grave. (It’s ok, just a bit of money. I was not stupid enough to try and catch it.)
This beautiful place was the highlight of the day, though, it was hard getting my jet lagged, out of shape self up the hill to see them. But, hard or no, we all made it, and it was actually light duty compared to the days that were to come.
And that was just the end of day one.