Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2008 Ireland Trip - 8 Sep 08

It seems as if it's taking me forever to finish processing my Ireland pics. The past two months have kept me oversubscribed in other duties. How about that election, eh? I, for one, am breathing a sigh of relief that a gun-toting-creationist-ignoramus is not going to be our next VP, but don't get me started on politics. What were the Republicans thinking????? I have high hopes for the Obama administration.

Whatever. Back to the travel report from Ireland. September 8th was a travel day for the most part. We left the Dingle Peninsula to go up to Doolin for the music, the Cliffs of Moher, and The Burren.

Michael needed to sleep in and so I went for an early morning walk. I saw some interesting birds, including this Cormorant down by the bridge of the stream that ran near our guest house.

I came back from my walk just as the cows were being moved from the barn to the pasture. The border collie was having a good time working the herd and it was a real treat to see a dog who loves his job. The farmers wear Wellington boots - just like the herders in Lesotho do, except their gum boots tend to be brightly colored. I need to do a posting on my 2003 trip to Lesotho sometime. . .

After breakfast, we headed out. Our first stop was the Prehistoric Museum shop in Ventry to drop off a couple of my CDs to Harris Moore, the owner and proprietor of the shop. He has an interesting and eclectic assortment of goods in the shop and it was fun to poke around in here to see what was for sale.

Harris is a fantastic hammer dulcimer player and we traded CDs. I've enjoyed both of his CDs over the past couple of months. Look him up on CD Baby!

We stopped in Adare for a bite to eat. The main road is chock full of pubs - we decided onO'Sullivan's Bar & Restaurant just because it looked like an older establishment.

The place was full of locals and the decor was about what I expected for an old Irish pub.

The food was ok, but nothing to write home about. We didn't get food poisoning - about the only positive thing I can say about it. On the other hand, I was in for a huge shock when I went to the back to use the toilet. The ladies room needed a HazMat team. I've seen better facilities in Africa, and this place was missing all of the toilet seats to boot. Yuck! This is on my list of places to avoid in the future.

There weren't very many stops between Dingle Peninsula and Doolin that I wanted to take the time to visit. We did make a side trip to Bunratty Castle because it was in all of the tourist brochures. It's worth a snap shot, but I didn't see anything worth paying an entry fee to hold us up for any amount of time.

The place is tailor-made for tour buses, including the few restaurants in this complex. We went into the Creamery to see the interior of the place - a very old barn that had been converted to a pub/restaurant.

It had a modern flair superimposed on the old buidling aura. It kind of reminded me of how the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain feels in the states - trying too hard for that country charm.

We arrived in Doolin late in the day. After checking in at the Aran View Hotel, we drove down the coast to see the Cliffs of Moher. The good news is that we arrived after closing time, so I didn't have to fork over a bunch of money to see the guest shop and stuff we didn't have any interest in seeing, but we could still go over to the cliffs to get a view. The lighting was really dim, though, with the rain and heavy clouds.

Here are the famous Cliffs of Moher. I enjoy playing the Irish jig by the same name. It was cool to see this site, but, after seeing the coastline of Oregon and South Africa, I have to admit that this was a teeny weeny bit of a let down. I did see some new birds for my life list, though, and that was pretty cool. I think if the weather had been nicer, I would have been more enthusiastic about the site, but it's hard to tell if one has goose bumps when it's so damn cold outside!

The other site at the Cliffs of Moher is this castle. It was really hard to get a good photo in the low lighting conditions, but this one pic turned out ok.

This is the coastline on the other side of the castle, looking north. I did some birding here despite the chilly wind. I had some great views of fulmars.

A closer look at the castle at the Cliffs of Moher.

The site is really developed and there were walls lining the cliff to keep foolish people from getting too close to the edge. There were also suicide hotline phone numbers posted every 100 feet or so. I guess it's a popular site for jumpers.

A closer inspection of the wall reveals that they are made from shales that are covered in fossil tracks. That got my heart rate up - way cool!


The Quacks of Life said...

enjoying the tour

2012 for .... ;)

Anonymous said...

as bugs bunny would say, "silly wabbit" .... you should be sending 'thank you' notes to both palin and bushie!

for without them, overcoming centuries of religious and phenotypic prejudice would have been less possible.

and even with the frightening future before us, it was nice to wake up on wednesday into a better world!


ICS Cyber Security said...

Planning A Trip To Ireland

Is it possible to travel all around Ireland starting in early June without making hotel reservations? Ya know....just winging it. We did that in Europe in the early 90s, and it was fine but we're not sure now. Thanks for any information you may provide.