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Monday, April 11, 2016

Ireland, Day 5

March 28th was a busy day! 

We started the morning with a drive to see the beaches at Lehinch.  Lehinch is about 17 miles from Ennis and Dan's grandfather told him stories of going to the beach here when he was growing up.  It was important for Dan to show Peter and Sarah the beach where their great grandfather played growing up. 

Next we made a quick visit to St. Bridget's Well in Liscanore. It is a holy well and a place of pilgramage.  People believe the water offers healing.  When people they leave pictures, flowers, and mementos to represent they healing they are asking St. Bridget to pray for.

Next up, we headed to the Cliffs of Moher!  The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland's most visited natural attraction and a must see for every tourist.

The Cliffs stretch 5 miles and are 702 feet at their highest point. The views are breathtaking and as usual, my pictures do not do this place justice!

And what is shocking to me most of all is that you could literally get right to the edge of the cliffs.  There were some caution signs around and a memorial to all the people who have lost their lives on the cliffs but you could literally walk right out to the edge.  YIKES!!!!   

We did a lot of walking to to get to the cliffs and to go around the cliffs.  It was very muddy and my shoes will never be the same but it was so gorgeous and again - my pictures don't do it justice!

Next, we headed to the Burren.  Burren is Irish for "great rock".  The rolling hills of the Burren are composed of limestone pavements with criss-crossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints". The region supports arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. The limestones formed as sediments in a tropical sea approximately 350 million years ago. The strata contain fossil corals, crinoids, sea urchins and ammonites.

Peter doing his Napoleon pose again.

Peter gets his oddness directly from his dad!
 Sitting in the middle of this section of the Burren, is the Poulnabrone dolman which is a portal tomb. It dates back  to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC and 2900 BC.  Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that we were standing near a rock structure that was built at least 3000 years before Jesus walked on the earth.

16 adults and 6 children are buried underneath the structure.

After exploring the Burren, we headed to Caherconnel Fort. This fort dates back to the 10th century and is a large circular stone wall that is roughly 137 feet in diameter. 
Random cows near the fort.

Peter inside the fort.

Sarah had no interest to walk around the fort so she and I browsed in the gift shop and shared a pot of tea like proper Irish women.

The boys spent quite a bit of time learning about the history of the fort which gave us plenty of time to rest and get ready for our next visit.

We headed to Dysert O'Dea Castle, High Cross and Abbey.  The high cross and abbey date back to the 12th century and the castle dates back to the 15th century.

We literally had to walk through a cow pasture to get to it but it was worth it!

After this we headed back to Ennis to Drumclif Cemetery.  This is where Peter and Sarah's great great grandparents on Dan's mom's side are buried.

 Here they are in front of the grave.

Also located in this cemetery are the remains of a tower and an abbey so of course, we had to explore those as well!

After a very full day we went back to Ennis and explored the town some more, had dinner and went to bed. 


Madeline said...

What a perfect day of national and natural beauty and history! Are you ready to go back already?

Mari said...

I'm so enjoying this trip! Everything is so beautiful. Those cliffs are amazing, but looking at that height with no rails... makes my stomach drop. I bet you were nervous with your kids there!

Laura Pearl said...

Your pictures are breathtaking! What an awesome trip. (I think the mother-daughter tea sounds like heaven. :))

Billie Jo said...

Beth, I am so enjoying experiencing this wonderful trip with you through your eyes!!!!
Thank you so much for sharing it with us!