Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The holiday continues .. 2

Cliffs of Moher   looking left

May 21 - Monday

After a short stop in Adare ( bathroom and shopping ) we continued to the Cliffs of Moher.   Again the drive provided great scenery.
The parking lot was busy as was the restaurant ( decent lunch ) and the one gift shop I visited but the cliffs viewing areas are large and spread out so it didn't feel crowded.
There was  a light cool breeze as we walked up the hill and steps to the top.    Stunning views.
Inside the visitor centre there is a walk through display/information gallery worth the visit.
Looking back at parking lot and walkway up.  Restaurant, gift shops and toilets built into the hills at left.

View down to local town, we passed sandy beaches and a links golf course ( lots of sand traps! )

View tower, reproduction,  extra charge and really no need.

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looking right

close up of rock formation

looking right
 On our way to dinner we drove through a section of  The Burren.    Having seen it on TV, BBC programme Coast, we had an idea of the scale and uniqueness of the area but being able to walk a portion and to peer down into the cracks and crevices to see the plants growing there, some that grow nowhere else in Ireland, as well as to see the portal tomb was a bonus.  Pat our driver called it a Druid tomb and said the area was called The Valley of Sorrows.

The Burren, neolithic portal tomb

Very small section of the Burren

looking down into the crevices in the stony ground

same tomb different view

Stone wall as we walked from the parking lot.  One of the view vertical rock placements we saw.

click to enlarge
Dinner tonight was on the upper level of Dunguaire Castle on Galway Bay .  We were served mead when we entered and then were escorted up the narrow stairs to a banquet hall for dinner and entertainment, a mix of song, poetry and spoken word.    I didn't enjoy it as much as I might have thanks to my touch of congestion.                                      
Dunguaire Castle.  Our dinner and entertainment spot.

View from the road as we walked to the castle.
After dinner we continued to our hotel on the outskirts of Galway.  I can picture the front of the hotel,The Maldron , and I do remember our room but I can't remember our breakfast room.   Must have been because of  the decongestant I took,  not the mead and wine I consumed the night before.    I do know I was feeling slow but OK.

May 22 - Tuesday

After a short stop at a Connemara Marble shop and factory ( nothing caught my eye ) we continued on through a portion of Connemara National Park.   There was a light mist falling when we stopped at a peat bog for a close look.  It really was a wet soggy place.  The piles of peat get turned as they dry out.  These bogs were hand dug.  Pat said there is less waste when the traditional method is used.  We passed fields and fields of peat and seldom saw houses.


Worth the walk.

Stakes of peat, still very wet.
All alone on the long road.

 Kylemore Abbey and grounds form a large part of the park.  Once a private home it became a convent and school until recent years and now relies on tourism.  The house is worth a quick look inside but does not live up to the outside.  The gardens are spectacular.  The original Victorian walled gardens are being reclaimed and are worth a wander.
Kylemore Abbey

A little hard to see but there are reeds in the water held down my rocks.

section of the walled garden

the reeds, once pliable, are used to stake up plantings

treed area outside the walled garden

another section of the walled garden...the rocky mountains are a wonderful visual backdrop

free standing rock wall was once part of a glass greenhouse, several have been restored

lake and view from the terrace of Kylemore

The gardens at the abbey supply the kitchen of the restaurant and we had a fabulous lunch.  The nuns have a pottery on the property and I finally bought something as a gift shop.  The pot on the right (with narrow line of red ) is now part of my holiday collection.  The dark blue, left front, is from our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador.  The pale blue behind from Vancouver Island as is the handmade mouse.

inside Matt Malloy's pub in Westport, short beer stop .. feeling much improved and I'm sure it was due to the beer and not the cold medication

We shared the Atlantic Coast hotel with international riders and support teams participating in the Ras.   
The route coincided with portions of ours and we saw..and slowly followed great packs of bikes.  Many bike clubs in the area came out and followed portions of the route as well.   Interesting traffic jams on very narrow roads.

1 comment:

Jayne said...

I am so droooooling over those vistas and the delicious gardens and oh, the reeds in the river are so pretty and that stone wall and....
The bowls are a lovely collection, they are sweet little keepsakes :)