Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ireland 2011 - Chapter 6 - The Burren and Beaches

It would be impossible to choose a favorite out of all the wonderful places we visited in Ireland, but the Burren stands out in my mind as one of the best.

Fields of limestone in the Burren, County Clare

The rugged landscape of the Burren (Irish for "stony place") is made up of layers of limestone that have eroded away over thousands of years into unusual shapes.  I loved the wildness of this area along Galway Bay, with its barren, stoney mountains and rocky cliffs.

Waves crashing on the Burren cliffs

Because there was a hurricane on its way when we were in the area, the sea was really choppy, and we were treated to some nice crashing waves.

The sunny day made everything so much more enjoyable. The water was a deep aqua blue, almost the color of the Mediterranean.

Burren coast, County Clare

One of Cromwell's minions, Edmund Ludlow, said, in the 17th century, "(The Burren) is a country where there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him." Guess we'll just enjoy the views!
Limestone outcropping on the Burren

I've been to beaches from Honolulu to Maine, and have loved them all, but there was something special about Ireland's Fanore Beach. The hurricane-driven waves were rolling in, the sun was shining, a stiff breeze was blowing off the bay, and there was hardly a soul sharing it with me. Just a lone windsurfer and my traveling companions.

Fanore Beach, County Galway, Ireland

There were tide pools to explore, with lots of neat little critters to see. I could have stayed there all day!

Fanore Beach


As the clouds began to roll in, we traveled around Galway Bay, through the city of Galway, and up the coast through the wild, rugged Connemara region.

We had an adventure, (that's code for getting lost), driving around the countryside near Clifden, meandering along little unmarked roads through the peat bogs. But it was kind of interesting to see how they cut and dry the peat to use as fuel.

Peat logs drying

 And we were lucky enough to see some Connemara ponies ...

Connemara ponies, near Clifden, County Galway

Mare and foal
We ended our day at a cozy B&B in Clifden where the proprietress was the spitting image of Mrs. Doubtfire. She was such a sweetheart, but everytime she spoke, she sounded exactly like Robin Williams, and it was hard to keep from giggling!


I couldn't resist taking pictures of some of the signs we saw in Ireland. It was so interesting to see how different things are from the U.S. Sometimes we forget that everyone doesn't do things like we do. That's one reason I love to travel - it gives me a broader view of the world.

"Ends" seems so much more polite than what we would call them, doesn't it?

Not "Men" but "Gents". Isn't that cute? And, oh, so British!

Instead of ordering drivers to slow down, they suggest "calming".

And my favorite ...
My 79-year old mom, mimicking the "Elderly People" sign in Ballycastle

Tomorrow, I'll wrap up the last few days of our two-week journey. Almost time to head home!

1 comment:

  1. That limestone formation looks very interesting. It would be great to travel to that place and enjoy the view. Amazing pictures.


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