County Clare, Ireland

As with my time in Killarney, I didn’t take many pictures of Galway. I’d gone there in order to have a ‘home base’ as I went off to see the Cliffs of Moher. There’s a huge area in the center of town that seems to be devoted to shopping and I’m not so much interested in that. But here are a few pictures in and around that area.
It was fun watching this man dance. I don’t think he was part of the band. I think they just had the wooden stand setting on the pavement for anyone who felt the desire to step on it and dance and I’m glad he did.
I thought this maintenance hole cover was really pretty. Wish we had ’em so nice in the States.
The River Corrib runs through Galway. It is one of the shortest rivers in Europe – only about 6 kilometres long, but it runs very swift.

I took a tour to the Cliffs of Moher. One of our first stops was at Dunguaire Castle, which was never so much a castle but a tower house. It was built in the early 16th century. In the early 20th century it was restored and used as a meeting place for literary greats such as George Bernard Shaw and W.B. Yeats. It now hosts medieval banquets and poetry readings for large groups.
It sits at the southeast shore of Galway Bay. There are underground springs that flow up into the bay. As the tide goes out they become more and more visible.
Here you can see the underground water welling up.
This moonscape of a picture was taken from the bus. This is a part of the Burren National Park. The area is formed from a thick layer of sedimentary rocks lain down in a tropical sea approximately 325 million years ago. This bed of limestone is up to 800 metres thick.
All of the exposed solid rock is of the Carboniferous period and is underlain by sandstone of the Devonian age which overlies rocks of the Paleozoic age. None of these pre-Carboniferous rocks are seen at the surface.
Glaciation during the late Quaternary period (beginning about one million years ago) created the landscape you see here. Glaciers expanded and retreated over the area several times.
The result is that the Burren is an excellent example of a glacio-karst landscape (karst being a topography formed from the dissolution of solid rock – limestone, in this case).

….and it was fascinating!Ā  šŸ™‚
This is called the Poulnabrone Dolmen and is thought to be a ‘portal tomb.’ It is unclear when, why and by whom dolmen were constructed. This dolmen dates back to approximately 5,500 years ago during the Neolithic period. It is the oldest dated megalithic monument in Ireland.

We stopped at this church (which name I forget) along the way.

 

It had this glass roof which is helping to keep it preserved. I think the glass adds to the beauty of this old structure.

 

Legend has it that St. Patrick added the circle around the cross in order to convert the Pagans (who worshiped the circle) to Christianity. Ol’ St. Patty, that lil’ trickster!
We stopped in a small town to have lunch. Here are a few pics from there.

I loved this knitted sea urchin design. It must have been 3 feet across!
Finally, we reached our destination:
the Cliffs of Moher.
I would have liked to be here at a different time of day when the sun was on this side of the cliffs, but really, how can one complain about a sight like this?

Below are the Aran Islands (of Aran sweater fame).

I love the way the shimmering grass clung to every surface that it could.

Below you’ll see O’Brien’s Tower which marks the highest point of the cliffs (214 m / 702 ft).
Looking down as best I could!

Yikes!


One last look at the Cliffs of Moher.
The visitor’s center was tucked, hobbit-style, into the nearby hills.

The bus took us through small towns on very narrow roads and, as happens once in a while, two buses will need to pass one another. While our bus was stopped as two other buses were inching past each other up ahead, I saw this old abandoned house and wished it were mine.
Solar panels – that’s all it needs!
This cow was cracking me up and making me feel so stupid! The buses had come to a dead standstill and it was just staring at us, probably wondering what the heck these idiotic humans were up to!

 

Now it was our turn to crawl past the oncoming bus.

 

Excellent drivers!

I think there were (maybe?) four inches between the buses.

Another stop on the way back into Galway was this sea cliff area of the Burren.

Ireland is simply beautiful and if you’re ever there, you must head west!

4 thoughts on “County Clare, Ireland

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