On the west coast of Ireland, are some incredible sights: chief among them, the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. We took a beautifully scenic ride across the countryside from Dublin. The journey took roughly three hours from coast to coast by train.
Doolin, County Clare
Before we went to the Cliffs, we stopped in Doolin for some lunch and a little walkabout. The village of Doolin had a few shops and pubs, but was mostly little cottages nestled in the green landscape leading up to the cliffs. This was the setting of John Wayne’s “The Quiet Man,” and much of it is still the same.
This was the best Guinness Stew I had during my entire stay in Ireland: O’Connors Pub in Doolin
The road leading up to the cliffs.
Unfortunately, the day was too misty and gray for good photographs, but hopefully you can appreciate the vibrant green and pretty countryside.
Cliffs of Moher
If you have ever seen “The Princess Bride,” the Cliffs of Moher are the Cliffs of Insanity:)
The cliffs of Moher extend about five miles and are Ireland’s most visited site – it was completely worth it. As you ascend up the cliffs, and look out at the incredible vista the only comparison that came to mind was the Grand Canyon. The views go on and on, and you can’t sum it up in one concise view or shot from your camera.
On the right side, there were two paths: one a bit more dangerous and steep, and the other a little more tucked in from the edge. The one that is tucked in is used by farmers to walk their livestock – I noticed bits of wool snagged on the simple wire fence. Grazing pasture is nestled right up against the cliffs, and sheep and cows dot the landscape. The biggest surprise was how rural the area is. In America, there would have been theme hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. The most remarkable aspect of this site, with the exception of the cliffs, was how untouched and unspoiled the area still is. It was truly magical.
The two paths: one worn, and the other for the brave.
The cows of Moher
Seagulls loved this jutted rock. I watched as the Doolin ferry almost wrecked into it from the strong currents. It took about 1/2 hour to extricate itself, and several close calls.
Caves line the bottom of the cliffs.
The view from a jut of flat rock; all you could hear was the crashing of the waves, seagulls and the occasional moo from the cows behind.
The Burren is a unique rocky wasteland that dates back to Paleolithic times. It literally means “rocky place.” It had a remote beauty and elegance, and a silence to it that is hard to put into words.
An interesting little snail.
Little beautiful flowers insisted on growing through the cracks of rock.