On and Below the Burren

Today was the last of my bus tours out of Galway, down to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. It was another really nice day, weather-wise, though there was a little bit of rain at our last photo stop. I’d been to the Cliffs before, and to the Burren, but the weather was much better this time.

The last tour I’d been on was from a different company1, so the stops were a little different. I was a little said that we didn’t get to the Poulnabrone Dolmen, this time, but instead we did get to see the Aillwee Cave.

The Aillwee Cave is on the side of Aillwee Mountain, and it’s got a pretty good view of the Burren. How gorgeous is that sky?
Inside the cave, it was very dark. Yeah, I know, that’s the way it goes with caves, but this one was less lavishly lit than any other cave I’ve been in. While it was very cool, I got nervous about my footing at some points. Anyway, here’s a shot of some stalactites, stalagmites, and a full column way at the back that looks orange in this picture.

After Aillwee Cave, we went to the Cliffs of Moher, which was the main stop of the day.

The Cliffs of Moher are about 200m above the sea. They were used as the Cliffs of Insanity in the movie The Princess Bride.
Waaaaaayyy down at the end of the Cliffs is Hag’s Head, an outcropping that has a small tower (called Moher Tower). It was too far to walk in the time we had there.

I also completed one of my vacation objectives here: I found a nice ring at a little jewellery shop dug into the side of the hills.

Lunch was in Doolin, and it was nice to go back there, where I had had such a good stay last time. We came in from an unfamiliar direction, so it took me a little thinking to orient myself, but it was cool to realize I recognized where I was, and where McGann’s was from there.

We stopped along the coast road on the way back to Galway at the Blackhead Lighthouse, which was right in the midst of a lot of the interesting rock formations of the Burren.

This is the sort of landscape that makes the Burren the Burren. Weathered limestone with lots of plants growing in the gaps between the slabs.
It being spring, there are a fair number of wildflowers cropping up.

Last photo stop was at Dunguaire Castle. Apparently, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong since I read about it. I was calling it “Dun-gwayr,” but apparently it’s “Doon-gory.”

Still very picturesque. They were getting ready for one of the medieval feasts they hold there, so we couldn’t really go in to look at the inside.

And then it was back to Galway.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city of Galway. That’ll make it easy to get around to places like the cathedral. Depending on how things go, I also want to get some more pictures of Shop Street, the main street through the medieval section of the city, and get to the museum across the street.

But now, doing a little laundry, and relaxing.

  1. One that doesn’t seem to exist, anymore. []

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