|Burt (our driver) and Jim (our guide)|
|King John's Castle|
|Castle Irish Wolfhounds at Bunratty - HUGE!|
|Stairs in the Turret|
|View from the castle roof|
|South Paw at the Castle|
|Susan & Paige|
After leaving Bunratty, we had a fabulous lunch stop in Doolin where we ate at Gus O'Conner's Pub. We had fabulous seafood chowder here and then wandered through some shops before reboarding the bus. Our guide told us that Doolin was a half-village, which meant there were only buildings on one side of the street.
We then drove to the Cliffs of Moher (http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/default.aspx), which many people in Ireland had told us that we must see. The Cliffs are one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland and it is easy to see why. They were just breath-taking! They are the highest cliffs in Europe at about 700 feet. The views of the cliffs and from the cliffs were so spectacular that really, seeing the pictures, is the best way to experience them. We could have stayed much longer than our allotted time!
|Cliffs of Moher|
|Susan at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland|
|Paige at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland|
|South Paw at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland|
In a real contrast to the Cliffs, we then drove to an area known as the Burren http://www.burrennationalpark.ie/. When we read about this area, it was described as a lunar landscape and that is perhaps the best description. Burren means "great rock" and this is certainly appropriate. The Burren is composed of great limestone flat rocks with criss-crossing cracks known as grikes. This makes the area look like an area paved with giant flagstones. They were once sediment in a pre-historic sea. The amazing thing is that this area is also known for the great variety of plants which grow here-some in the grikes and others near the rivers.
|...like walking on the moon|
|We're told the wildflowers are beautiful in the summer.|
|South Paw at the Burren|
After leaving the Burren, we drove around Galway Bay, which is a beautiful area of Ireland, and arrived in Galway in time to catch the 6:00 train. We arrived back in Dublin about 8:45, very tired, but VERY happy to have seen all we did! Thankfully, Ireland went on daylight savings time that night (they call it winter time), so we were able to get an extra hour of much needed sleep. We'll actually get two extra hours this year
|Trusty Burt, our driver, in the rear view mirror|
|alpacas in Ireland|