After a restful night at Glenomra House where we enjoyed a lovely spacious bedroom, we set out through the rain for the Cliffs of Moher. On our way out of town we waited a while for some kind of foot race to pass by. You can do it, guy in last place!
This was the only day of our entire trip where we were rained on in any quantity. The weather did lessen our enjoyment of the cliffs, but they were still pretty amazing. I did feel like the wow factor of the cliffs was lessened having already seen so many pictures of them beforehand. We were under the impression that you sort of drove along the cliffs and stopped at various look out points, but actually they herd you into a parking lot, collect 6 euro per person and you see the cliffs from the walking path near the visitor center.
Before we even went out to the cliffs we explored the “Atlantic Edge” exhibit in the visitor center. It was crowded (everyone else was waiting to see if the rain let up too) and a little steamy inside. A lot of the exhibits were geared toward children, but there were some interesting artifacts and stuff about how people used to hunt birds by lowering each other over the edge of the cliffs using special nets. (That sounds like the worst idea ever-didn’t they read the signs?)
Ok, so it was really freaking windy. We somehow thought it was a good idea to take our nice camera with us. I took precisely 6 pictures with it before the umbrella blew inside out. This was an optimal time for us to employ our backup (and waterproof!) camera-we should have left the good one in the car entirely. We pretty much looked like this while checking out the cliffs.
The view was great, but we were put off by having to share it with hundreds of other tourists. I felt suffocated surrounded by hoards of tour bus groups. Up until this point, just about every other natural wonder we had visited was essentially deserted. (Especially the Dingle Peninsula, views from the Conor Pass, Garnish Island, the Beara Peninsula, and Killarney National Park)
I felt like I could breathe again once we departed from the Cliffs leaving the tour groups behind. We dried off ourselves and the camera and made our way toward the Burren passing some random ruins enroute (of course!)
Apparently, these biker dudes were also into the Burren, because there were literally hundreds of them biking along the 10 mile stretch. Every time we thought we had passed them all, there were always more around the next corner, so we resolved ourselves for a leisurely pace.
The Burren is a 10 square mile limestone plateau with a unique ecosystem. It was actually a seabed 250 million years ago. At glance, we wondered what the big deal was. Ok, there’s a bunch of flat rocks that sort of look like the moon with green stuff growing out of it. But with closer examination, you start to notice some of the teeny but beautiful native plants.
I just want you to know that I mushed my sunglasses laying on the ground to photograph the teeny plants for you. I know, it was thoughtful of me to sacrifice my favorite $3 pair for your sake.
The Burren is also known for having an excessive amount of prehistoric sites, including the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a 4,000 year old portal tomb. They excavated the remains of 30 something men, women and children in this area. It was sort of interesting and mysterious to see the tomb smack in the middle of this barren landscape and impressive to think just how the ancient people even managed to lift the huge stone on top of the tomb (it’s 6 feet off the ground!)
We continued our drive past idyllic pastures, avoiding some sheep in the roadway.
Maybe we should have run this one over when we had the chance. He looks sort of like a zombie. Check out those crazy eyes.
It looks like low tide as we approach a small fishing village.
I’ll leave you with one last lovely view, this is across from Joyce’s Craft Shop where I purchased my favorite souvenir a lovely wool throw. I’ll tell you all about our purchases in a later post.
Once we arrived at our BnB near Galway, a little earlier than usual, we had time to take the bus into the center of town and explore this bustling town with it’s variety of shops and splendid architecture to admire.
Next up, we explore the coastline north of Galway up to Clifden, with plenty more scenic views, so check back soon!
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