We are just back from a lovely holiday in Ireland (more of which in a separate post, probably tomorrow). We started off last Saturday heading over to Co. Clare on the west coast of Ireland, in the heart of the region known as the Burren staying in this cottage in the village of Carron which I’d definitely recommend, it was a lovely little quirky place to use as a base to explore the area. We were really lucky with the weather, there were odd days that were a bit overcast but we never got wet, and mostly it was really sunny and lovely, which was quite a surprise for the Irish Atlantic coast! I am now feeling very mellowed out and rested, and don’t want to go back to work next week! Anyway, here are some photos from Saturday-Thursday:
On Thursday we left Co. Clare and headed on up to Northern Ireland (more of that in another post), and on the way we went to the amazing Bru na Boinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Co. Meath (north of Dublin) which is around 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. The main site consists of three large passage burial sites, of which we visited two, this picture shows the burial site at Newgrange (we also visited the site at Knowth which reminded me of the Teletubby garden!).
This is the Poulnabrone Dolmen, in the heart of County Clare. It is a portal burial site, and is probably the most photographed monument in the Burren. That slab on the top apparently weighs 5 tons. Like Bru na Boinne, Poulnabrone is a neolithic monument.
This is a traditional music session at O’Connor’s pub in Doolin, Co. Clare (Doolin is well known for a number of pubs which have regular traditional music sessions). My dad will be *so* jealous I went to this!
This is another very famous Clare site, the Cliffs of Moher. Those of you who are fans of the film The Princess Bride might recognise them as the Cliffs of Insanity (they’ve also featured in one of the Harry Potter films). We had hoped to walk from the visitor centre south towards Hag’s Head, where there is apparently an amazing view north back towards the cliffs. However the clifftop walk was fenced off (not that that stopped quite a lot of people from walking a bit of the way) so we didn’t get to do that.
Easter Sunday. This place was the top of my list of must-sees while in Co. Clare – it turned out we were only 15-20 minutes drive away from THE CRAGGY ISLAND PAROCHIAL HOUSE!!!!!!! Any Father Ted fans will surely understand my excitement. There were another handful of pilgrims at the gate taking pictures (you can go for afternoon tea there but it needs to be arranged in advance; I was happy enough to just stand at the gate) and I very much enjoyed the banter (why say ‘cheese’ when you can say ‘DrrrrInk!’?). The dog belongs to the owners of the house.
Here’s the mysterious island of Ailsa Craig (also featured in my photo from January 3rd) – we passed quite close as you can see while on the ferry from Troon to Larne. I can’t believe people used to live here – it is so bleak and must have been such a hard life.