“Blow Me Away”- Galway, Ireland & Cliffs of Moher

[ 2 ] June 3, 2011 |

If the city of Galway, Ireland needs a new slogan they should consider “home of 10,000 roundabouts.”  We navigated our way around and around and around to find our cozy bed and breakfast just outside of the city. The next morning we started the day with a full Irish breakfast- this one consisting of beans on toast, loads of sweaty meats, black pudding, eggs, and fruit.

Thanks to a handy brochure we decided to take an all day bus tour covering the sights including the Cliffs of Moher. The tour bus picked us up at the B&B and continued on to collect the other passengers. We were greeted by our quirky 70+ year old driver and tour guide Desmond.

Desmond and Pat

On the drive up to the cliffs we passed an abundance of scenic outlooks and castles. Desmond informed us that he was unsure why everyone refers to all of these “tower house ruins” as castles. We were able to go inside several and indeed they are castles on the outside, ruins on the inside. Beautiful nonetheless and fun to imagine what the lives of the people must have been like who lived there years and years ago.

Dunguaire Castle

O'Brien Castle

 

We made a stop at a Neolithic village “Ballyakban Fairy Fort”- where we were told leprechauns and fairies live…  Apparently, some of the Irish take their legends VERY seriously! There are many tree rings throughout Ireland, and it’s said that fairies live in them! There’s also a lot of superstition around tearing them down, and even walking through them improperly. We all had to walk around this one in a circle, or else.

Ballyalban Fairy Fort

The area we drove through all day is called “The Burren”. In the middle of it, stands Poulnabrone Domen Portal Tomb dating back to 2500-2000 BC.

Poulnabrone Domen Portal Tomb

As we passed by fields in every direction we were very impressed with the Irish stone walls separating all of the fields.

stone walls

At Kilfenora Cathedral, built in the 12th century we were able to view one of the greatest concentrations of high crosses in Ireland, including the famed “Doorty Cross.”

Kilfenora Cathedral- Doorty Cross

Stunning in their natural beauty, the highlight of the day was arriving at The Cliffs of Moher.

Cliffs of Moher

The water was extremely rough with waves crashing over and over as far as we could see. The sea spray would drench you if you accidentally walked into it at the wrong moment as the waves crashed against the cliffs 800 feet below.

Cliffs of Moher

Alison and Pat at Cliff of Moher

This particular day, the wind at the top of the cliffs was so strong it was a challenge to walk. We literally laid back into it and the wind held us up. Carefully we made our way to the highest point at the tower on top of the cliffs.

Tower at Cliffs of Moher

Right beside the cliffs are pastures full of animals grazing. Quite a lovely place for a cow to live!

A&P Cliffs of Moher

We made our final stop by the Ballyreen Seaside.

Ballyreen Seaside

On the bus ride back to Galway, Desmond decided to play the song “Lost my heart to a Galway girl” on repeat until the entire bus joined in singing. It’s Pat’s new favorite tune.

 

The next day we drove across the country to return the rental car “Bizzy” to Dublin, took a bus to Belfast, Northern Ireland, enjoyed a supper of fish and chips at a local pub, and had a quick nights rest.

goodbye Ireland

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Category: Alison's Blog, Blog, Destinations, Featured Posts, Ireland

Comments (2)

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  1. cynthia gunter says:

    hey, you guys!
    are you going to wales? we have a dear friend with whom we served in romania who is now living and working in wales. awesome guy! you’d love his insight and perspective and COOKING! i’ll tell him about you, too, and maybe you can hook up! let me know!
    =D

  2. Anthony says:

    Lovely pics, looks like ye had a great time

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