Saturday, May 7, 2011

Doolin, The Burren, and Dublin

We wrapped up our tour of Ireland with a visit to Doolin, stayed at a working farm B&B. It was pretty nice... the walls were paper thin and we had some noisy Americans staying the second night... they had no qualms shouting up and down the hall to each other. Our revenge? When we got down to breakfast we overheard them discussing what the darker of the two sausages on their plate was made out of :) and we DIDN'T tell them it was blood sausage... black pudding as it's referred to :). When our host filled them in they lost their appetites. Ha! You know... if you haven't bothered to look up what traditional Irish breakfast is before you order it... you can only blame yourself.

We stopped by the Cliffs of Moher, but were sorely disappointed in our experience there. The cliffs are basically not accessible. There's nowhere to walk, the visitor/information center is run down (trashed really) and there were hundreds of noisy tourists there. We ended up hopping a fence and walking a couple hundred yards to see some better views before we realized people were following us and my conscience said I didn't want to be responsible for someone else's irresponsibility; so we went back. There were signs posted everywhere with the number for the suicide hotline... eesh.

Next we tried to find a place to hike in "The Burren". It's another of Ireland's enigmatic national parks. We drove around for EVER, stopped at the information center even... and couldn't figure out where there  were acceptable places to park a car and walk. Eventually, we drove up to one of the tourist attractions, the Caves, and parked the car and just hiked up the side of the hill. It turned into a good scramble and we enjoyed ourselves.

We ate at the local pub in Doolin that evening and listened to some traditional Irish music from local musicians.

On the way to Dublin the next day we stopped for another walk down to the ocean. The terrain is mostly flat, with lots of limestone. It's really fun to walk across. I made one last rock stack for Noah... and then we moved on to our final destination... the Isaacs Hostel in Dublin.

So, the thing about Dublin is... it was Good Friday the day we were there... and everything was closed. No Guinness factory tours, no Jaimeson factory tours, no museums, no bars served alcohol... bummer. So, we contented ourselves with walking around looking at the statues and architecture (actually Lori went on a bike tour), ate some potato boxty for dinner... and flew home the next day.

This is the view from our B&B in Doolin. Donkeys!

Oh, and a castle turret :)

The Cliffs of Moher... were... disappointing. We expected hiking and vistas... what we got was an extremely run down visitors' center, about 750 m of walled walks and a LOT of noisy tourists. Bummer

But there was this cool harpist

And we climbed over the fence and past the sign that says "do not pass" to get this shot.

Lehinch beach

This old collie made me miss Tag :(

Here we have a lovely horse spooking at the waves

and getting schooled...

We drove around for an hour or 2 trying to find a decent place to walk in "The Burren". While doing so, we came across an abbey with a cemetery

And finally found somewhere to hike!

The last of my rock stacks for Noah. Don't let yourself be fooled. These rocks were BIG... and HEAVY. It was my best stack yet.

In Dublin... with James Joyce

St. Stephen's Green

Thus endeth our trip. It was fun, and I'm glad I went. I can't wait to go back to Scotland. I may start planning that trip now!


  1. Thanks for sharing your pictures! I enjoyed them all!!! Miss you!

  2. What great photos! Makes me want to plan a trip.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed my photos :) @Leslie, miss you, too!

    @jo(e) your blogging and photos are inspirational. I'm glad we can share glimpses of one another's worlds. You should definitely plan that trip!


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