Our first stop on our tour of the Burren was Dunguaire Castle, a remnant from the 16th century. Today it is known for its daily medieval banquets and beautiful Galway Bay location.
The increasingly popular musical hub Doolin was our lunchtime stop on our little tour of Clare County. I thought that the vivid color of the lush greenery with the river flowing through it provided a great picture of the Irish countryside.
After rolling through this town we realized just how famous this annual matchmaking festival is in Lisdoonvarna. We happened to be there just as the matchmaking festival was taking place, which is a time honored tradition in this town and still happens in this bar today.
The incredible view from the cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most famous natural landmark. These cliffs tower over 700ft/210m over the water, and the view was breathtaking (or maybe that was the fear of falling off the edge!).
A little reminder from the Cliffs of Moher tourism board that the cliffs are, indeed, VERY unpleasant to fall off of. The danger there, mixed with the beauty, was very real!
Our guide, Desmond, told us a great story about this castle: apparently there was a red-haired Irish woman named Máire Rúa who married and killed 3 husbands for their money, until she met her true love Conor O’Brien. When he was killed in war, she was forced to marry a soldier named Cornet John Cooper to keep her property. She lured him to the tower and then pushed him off. When her crimes were discovered, she was put in the small outhouse that you can see attached to the side of the castle on the left. Our guide ended the story by saying, “If there are any red haired women on the bus right now, you might want to just scoot over a bit because if Máire Rúa taught us anything, it’s that some red haired women can’t be trusted!”
On our way back from the Cliffs of Moher, we stopped on the side of the road to admire the view on Galway Bay. At the edge of the rocks, we looked down to see a steep cliff edge and the water swirling beneath us. Stunning!
This old church contains some of the many “high crosses,” which are famous 6-8ft tall crosses carved with biblical scenes found throughout Ireland.
Graveyard outside of the high crosses church, with the celtic cross visible on many of the tombstones representing a combination of Christian faith and pre-Christian Irish worship of the Sun (symbolized by the circle around the cross).
Poulnabrone Dolmen, a portal tomb dating as far back as 3000-4000BC. This is one of the oldest and most famous dolmens in Ireland.
Our B’n’B was in Salthill, just outside of Galway, which gave us the unique opportunity to walk along the beach for about 15 minutes as we headed into Galway City.