Friday, October 19, 2012


        Okay, this is the day that I have been waiting for – my opportunity to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher.  I have seen the photos but I need to see it in person.  We have a fairly long tour planned from 8am to 5pm but I am ready.  With Maureen as our tour guide again and Paddy driving the bus, the tour begins.  It is supposed to cover the Cliffs and The Burren.   My camera is ready and the first photos are of Dunguaire Castle on our way to the Cliffs. It is located on rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay, near the town of Kinvara. Maureen explained that the “street’ comes first and then the village grew around the street. 

Soon after spotting the castle, we have our first comfort stop in the town of Ballyvaughan. My sister-in-law and I spotted a darling little tea shop, named “The Tea Junction”.  Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that my brother Danny and his wife Ginya joined us on the tour this morning.  After a cup of tea for me, and a cup of coffee for Ginya, the four of us visited a church in town – St. John the Baptist.  Hey, what can I say we love looking at churches?  I am thinking it is that Catholic upbringing!

Our bus ride then continued to Black Rock– where the Burren (limestone pavement with crisscrossing cracks) meets the Atlantic Ocean.  Well, it wasn't only raining here, it was very windy – you know the “Blustery days of Winnie the Pooh” kind of a day.  I was afraid I might be blown off the jagged rocks into the ocean before I even got to see the famous Cliffs of Moher!

From Black Rock, the bus driver drove us to the famous Cliffs of Moher.   It was raining there too, but nothing is stopping me from seeing those cliffs.  So, now I am beginning to look like those “weather reporters” covering an impending hurricane who look like they are going to be blown away at any time!

The Cliffs were majestic, the view awe inspiring!   Then miraculously the sun came out!  Okay, it is still extremely windy and my hair is a hopeless cause, but I take what I can get!  We decided to climb to the top of O’Brien’s tower.  It was supposedly built to impress female visitors.  I am totally impressed!! 

We got back on the bus and they drove us to the seaside town of Lahinch, which is on the Liscannor Bay in County Clare.  We ate lunch at O’Looney’s which is on the promenade and we could see the ocean from our window seat.  So, now a bit drier and full after eating lunch, I am thinking we are just driving back to Galway.  No, there is one more stop – okay, one sight to visit and another comfort stop!

Our next stop was Poulnabrone dolmen (a pre-historic tomb on the Burren).  It dates back to between 4200 BC and 2900 BC.  Wow, I am beginning to feel like Wilma Flintstone!  Excavations found the bodies of 16 to 22 adults and 6 children buried there.   Who knew these kinds of things even existed anymore?

One of the many things that I loved about Ireland was the food.  Yes, I thought I was going to hate it – Irish stew, mutton and lots of potatoes and it would be bland – but I loved that there is all kinds of food in Ireland.  So, tonight we went to a very nice seafood restaurant (and I do love seafood) called Martine’s in Galway.  Even though, the scallops with the asparagus risotto were tasty, the absolutely best part of the meal was the dessert!  I had read about “Banofee pie” and wanted to try it while I was in Ireland.  Tonight was my chance and I seized the opportunity.    With a sugar cookie crust, topped with slices of bananas and a big layer of whipped cream and then drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup, the Banofee pie was utterly delicious!   It was a perfect ending to an exhausting but amazing day in Ireland!

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