The next day we had a big day trip ahead of us! Lots of exciting things to see and do and experience.
Our first big thing was the Cliffs of Moher. We had a several hour drive, including a short ride on a ferry. A few things we saw on the way to the Cliffs:
In this area they were cutting peat for burning.
It dries in the sun before it’s ready to burn.
Examples of newer Irish Architecture
Can you guess what this is?
It is a golf course, or at least part of one.
Not the immaculately manicured ones that we see here, eh? It is probably closer to the golf courses at the birthplace of golf in Scotland than what we’re used to seeing.
The Cliffs of Moher
It is very hard to capture the height and magnificence of these cliffs!
I’m not sure how tall the tower at top of the cliff is but from the top of the tower to the surface of the water is around 700 feet.
Puffins live and nest in the cliffs but we were not able to see any.
The Cliffs have recently been fenced off as there have been deaths from people getting to close to the edge. The people on the cliff below are beyond the point allowed. It was rather odd. There were Do Not Walk Beyond This Point signs posted but many people walked around them and the employees didn’t seem to respond to it.
There were gazillions of tourists out this day, as it was a beautiful, sunny day! There were a few musicians here and there, giving us a taste of Irish music.
We went to a beach at a nearby town to eat lunch and watch the locals learn to surf and otherwise just really enjoy a beautiful and completely sunny day in Ireland, which is somewhat unusual and treasured.
Our next big event for the day, was touring and then dining at Bunratty Castle.
Those four corner towers each contain spiral staircases and you totally go in circles getting top to bottom!!
The Great Room
Guest Quarters – The Bedroom
Guest Quarters – Dining/Breakfast Room
There was a small working village surrounding the castle.
Here is a stack of dried peat for burning.
This cottage smelled odd. We figured out it was the peat smoke. Yikes!
In the evening we took in the banquet, which was fun!!
We all gathered in the Great Room to enjoy cube bread dipped in salt.
We were also served honey mead, a ancient-recipe “wine”, and from what I remember, it was more likely what the working class drank, than the upper class.
They also had a harpist and violinist playing.
As we were leaving later in the evening we met the violinist on the path. We chatted a bit and told him how much we loved his music. He really was a “brilliant” musician. He asked where we were from. We told him USA and he said, “I lived there for a while.” After a few more questions he mentioned that he had been to Juilliard.
The supper was delicious! We had a root soup served in a bowl. The only utensil we had was a steak knife (dagger they call it) to use. We had BBQ ribs, chicken drumsticks, pork filets, rutabagas (I think) and a few other veggies.
It was hard to get good pictures since it was fairly dark and I wanted too keep from getting too flashy.
Throughout the meal the wait staff sang Irish folks songs.
Here’s a sampling of the singing:
It was a bit expensive but it was worth the splurge. 🙂 After all, we saved lots of $ by cooking at our own house.
After spending 4 days in western Ireland, it was time to move on.
We stopped in the small coastal town of Kinsale. The ship Lusitania was sunk off the coast here in 1915 by a German submarine. It sank so quickly that more than half of the 1,959 passengers died. One of my favorite historical fiction novelists is MaryAnn Minatra. In her one trilogy she uses this incident as part of her novel, The Heirloom. Her character is rescued by a local fisherman and barely survives.
We took time to visit the small museum in Kinsale. It was interesting to see artifacts from that terrible tragedy.
Something else we saw in the museum.
We were headed to Dunmore East, where we stayed at the Yoder’s guest house.
But that portion will have to be saved for next post. 🙂