Where We Be
|Cliffs of Moher & Adare, Ireland
This was our day for visiting the famous Cliffs of
Moher on Ireland's southwest coast -- the #1
attraction in all of Ireland. The dramatic cliffs
stretch for 5 miles (8 km) along the Atlantic
Coast in County Clare. The hike beyond the
visitor center's official safe zone is when things
get most interesting: instead of a waist-high wall
separating you from the edge, there's no wall at
all and you can walk right up to the rim. If you're
fearless, this is the place for some fun photos
near the edge of some serious drop-offs.
Afterwards we made a short visit to The Burren
with its long limestone stretches of rock and
concluded that The Burren really is quite
barren. Then we continued on to the impossibly
cute town of Adare. Parking was easy and free
at the visitor center. A short walk brought us to
the thatched cottages that are the hallmark of
Adare -- so quaint with their bright paint and
colorful flowers out front.
|Adare's adorable thatched cottages are the "Ireland"
many of us picture in our minds from a bygone era
|In hindsight it was a long detour during an already long driving day, but if you
had more time in the area, The Burren offers a unique landscape to explore
|We took a detour north of Ennis to check out The Burren,
a weird, empty landscape of exposed limestone rocks
|We stayed near the town of Adare specifically so we could explore
its thatched cottages later in the day when there were less crowds
|We liked how several houses shared one continuous thatched roof
|In the distance you can see where a fire in June 2015
sadly burned down three of the historic thatched cottages
|Some now serve as restaurants or gift shops, but they retain their
charm nonetheless. This one, called 1826, offers gourmet dining.
|And on the outskirts of town are some photogenic
castle ruins on the grounds of Adare Manor
|A small park nearby offers a pleasant spot to relax
|But the main reason to come to Adare -- sometimes called Ireland's
prettiest village -- is obviously these quaint hobbit-like cottages
|On the way to the Cliffs of Moher, we passed the 16th century Dunguaire Castle.
Its tower house sits on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay.
|Our first glimpse of the famous Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs primarily
face west and north so they're mostly in shade in the morning.
|O’Brien’s Tower is the most obvious landmark. It's a 19th century
viewing tower and seems to make the Cliffs even more photogenic.
|Trails radiate outward in both directions from O'Brien's Tower, following along the cliffs.
This is where the real fun begins. Beyond the barrier are the best unobstructed views.
|We were blessed with another sunny day in Ireland -- a small miracle
to hear locals talk. Some told us this was the hottest day of the year.
|O'Brien's Tower gets smaller and smaller as you walk further north,
with new cliff faces and promontories becoming visible with each step
|The cliff face ahead is the last dramatic precipice
to the north before the trail descends steeply
|Here we found many people hanging out, soaking up the dramatic views --
and sitting and standing precariously close to the edge sometimes!
|Definitely not a place for little kids, but if you're not deathly
afraid of heights, it's kinda fun to sit as close as you dare
|Robin takes a peek over the cliff edge
|About as close as I dare to stand!
|Looking further north, you can see the trail descends into lush countryside. It's part of the larger trail
system known as the Wild Atlantic Way. This stretch here has to be among the most beautiful in Ireland.
|After checking out the view from O'Brien's Tower, we walked north along the waist-high
barrier until we reached this sign for the Burren Way. Here is where the barrier ends.
|We returned to O'Brien's Tower then continued
south along another trail for more dramatic views
|This was as far south as we went. Here we got a great view of
An Branán Mór sea stack, home of guillemots and razorbills.