Today was a very busy day, so I’ll try to keep each section short. After leaving Galway, our first quick stop was in the town of Kinvarra, at Dunquaire (“Dun-gar”) Castle. The story is that if you are a woman and you want to become, ahem, pure again, you can walk counter-clockwise around the castle and your purity shall be restored.
I believe that there’s a price to go inside, so we only took pictures and walked around outside. Across from the castle are a couple of quaint thatch-roofed cottages which also make a pretty good photo opportunity.
Not long after the castle, we made a pit stop at a wishing well on the side of the road. If you want to throw a coin in, you have to stand on the standing stone and throw it with your right hand over your left shoulder. For some reason, that’s very important.
The well was interesting (I threw in a 2 pence piece left over from Northern Ireland…. Maybe that’s bad luck no matter what), and on the other side of the road were some old penny walls and what looked like the ruins of a famine cottage. And my favorite part, a donkey! He was awfully sweet and let everyone feed him grass and pet his nose.
Mini Cliffs and the Burren
Next it was on to the “mini cliffs,” as our driver called them, and I can’t for the life of me find the true name of them. However, these cliffs are basically where the Burren meets the Atlantic. Now, the Burren is an area of land on the west coast of Ireland that is pretty much desolate. It’s kind of a big plateau of spiky rock where nothing grows. It has its own kind of sad beauty, but I think I prefer the cliffs and waves.
The Cliffs of Moher!
Everyone has heard of the Cliffs of Moher, and with good reason. They’re really quite incredible in person – the photos hardly do them justice. The sheer height of these cliffs (702 feet at their tallest) can be pretty dizzying, so if you have trouble with heights then make sure to stay behind the barricades. Perhaps unwisely, we climbed over the barricades and walked right along the edge where clearly thousands have gone before us judging by the well-worn path.
We didn’t see as much of the cliffs as I would have liked because we were on a deadline to get back to our bus, but it’s a place I could easily stay all day, just looking. The weather was misty while we were there and I imagine the cliffs must be even more majestic in the sunlight. And on our way back we stopped to get a picture with some cows, because I love cows. And sheep. I love sheep too.
There’s very little else to tell about the Cliffs of Moher without waxing poetic (I try very hard not to put my readers through that), so I’ll leave it to the pictures.
We finished the night in the town of Killarney, which I’ll tell you all about in my next entry as well as the incredible beauty of the Dingle Peninsula.