Seeing the Burren and heading to Ennis

Trip Start Jul 02, 2011
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Trip End Jul 12, 2011


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Where I stayed

Flag of Ireland  , County Clare,
Saturday, July 9, 2011

7/9/11:

Exploring the Burren:

Our room was a little warm (No it wasn't!) when we woke up and got a little warmer after we showered until I opened up the windows. We woke up to sunshine and some clouds. There were two large families from Boston staying at the B&B as well so our goal was to get to the dining room early as the dining room was small. By the time we got to the dining room, the were only a couple seats left. We all had the traditional Irish breakfast, but this one didn't have the roasted tomatoes and mushroom, nor the traditional black or white pudding. I felt ripped off. The meal was good though with coffee and tea. 

After breakfast, we packed up the car and headed out to explore the Burren. Our first stop was The Burren Centre in Kilfenora. It's a small center with an exhibit about the history of the Burren as well as a short film. After visiting that we drove through the Burren stopping at Caherconnell Ring Fort, the Poulnabrone Dolmen (an ancient burial site), the Newtown Castle and the remains of a 12th century church. All of them were very interesting and plenty of pictures were taken! The Burren is a desolate land with uniquely shaped rocks left by the glaciers. If you look closely enough you can see fossil remains of ancient sea life. Many varieties of flora grow here, even those that are not native to Ireland. At one point, on one side of the road you saw desolate land and on the other side you saw a valley with lush green grass and foliage separated by stone walls. Beautiful.

We were at a cross road- Greg wanted to go along the coast and I wanted to go to the center of the Burren at Carron. We went to the center of the Burren. This turned out to be the more interesting way. (how do you know, you never saw the other way!) Greg got to drive down an L type road. This is one we hadn't traveled down before. We finally figured that L meant Lane. It was very narrow, and I mean narrow. There was a church ruin that I wanted to go to. Greg wanted to stop at the Burren perfumery but I didn't want to because I was concerned that I would start having trouble breathing- so we didn't. We headed down an even smaller lane towards the church. We had the windows down as it was a gorgeous day and I was taking pictures. When we parked, I felt something sting my left leg. I lifted the camera and there was a HUGE black and yellow bee or bumblebee stinging me. I scared the boys when i started screaming. The BEE didn't seem to mind all the screaming - it just kept stinging.  I finally got the thing to fly away. Boy was my leg stinging! Good thing I was wearing jeans as the stinger wasn't left in me. Greg attended to me... We had no ice and Greg took out bee ointment thinking that we would never need it in Ireland. That learned us! 

We still walked to the church ruin (Temlecronan church), which was in the middle of a pasture. Most of the ruins are in or around pastures and there is always a sheep or cow nearby. The ruin was small and had two small graves.  

We headed towards Ennis to our hotel. Ennis is a working town. It had cute one lane roads and side alleys that had hidden shops. We were stayed at the Old Ground Hotel.  This hotel was a much older hotel. Our room was a decent size with all the normal amenities. I have forgot to mention in my other blogs, that there are no outlets in the bathrooms and the hair dryer is kept in the top drawer in the desk. (the first two days I went without blow drying my hair). Oh, and the view from our room was of the building next doors aging roof and kegs of beer outside on an alley.

We tried to do a little shopping but didn't really have time...only a half an hour(shops closed at 6pm). We ate an early dinner at 6:30pm. 

Dinner was a fancy three course meal as part of our hotel package.  Full formal table setting and all. Good thing we knew our plate settings! The moment was sorta ruined when Greg ordered a Cabernet Sauvignon to go with his beef and the server brought a  Sauvignon Blanc no less in a small twist cap bottle! We had to try hard to keep from bursting out laughing. Nevertheless, our meal was superb. We had dessert as well which was simply marvelous!

After dinner walked around town a bit to burn some calories. It didn't last too long as we forgot to take our jackets and it got cold. We went back to the hotel to get ready for our airplane ride to New York. We tried to go to sleep early but a wedding reception kept us up. It was right below us. The band finally stopped around 12:30-12:45 am. (Greg wore earplugs to go to sleep).

Off tomorrow to New York! Very sad to leave Ireland. We all had a very good time... Will have to come back soon.
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Comments

vicki on

Really like these.

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