Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ireland Morning of Day 7 Galway

And as we continued through the northern mountains of Ireland we came upon the Burren..

The Burren is a karst landscape in County Clare, Ireland. It measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle made by the villages of Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna.
It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren: Limestone Pavement, Calcareous grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/hazel woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying springs, cliffs and Fen. The word "Burren" comes from an Irish word "BoĆ­reann" meaning a rocky place. This is an extremely appropriate name when you consider the lack of soil cover and the extent of exposed Limestone Pavement. However it has been referred to in the past as "Fertile rock" due to the mixture of nutrient rich herb and floral species.

In 1651 a Cromwellian Army Officer named Ludlow remarked, "of this barony it is said that it is a country where there is not water enough to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury them. This last is so scarce that the inhabitants steal it from one another and yet their cattle are very fat. The grass grows in tufts of earth of two or three foot square which lies between the limestone rocks and is very sweet and nourishing."

 as  we  came down off the burren we were    coming into more    settled  areas

   many along  coastal areas

 many ruins   visible.

 deserted homesteads
 rocky barren lands

      We  still a re  on the   morning side of lunch  on the 7th day...  so much  variety to see in  this part of Ireland!!!
 a  priory ruin

 there before us  was Galway Bay

    and suddenly..  so suddenly I almost missed it  there was  Dunguaire Castle....I had no idea we would actually see it  for we were just driving by,  it wasnt on the itinerary.. now  why  you say  is this  important to me...
  here is  a   stock photo of Dunguaire  from the bayside...

Image result for dunguaire castle
 Now   I deviate here to  explain that  heretofore my dream  vacation was actually  Scotland,,, but  when this trip came up i jumped on it  thinking   both   areas are so similar...   especially because  Dunguaire is so much like  my favorite castle in Scotland,  Eilean Donan;   seen here:
and here

so   I  could  barely contain myself that  we were actually  hurtling past  dunguaire at 50 kph.. the glare  shining  brightly in my view finder....   but  I  could prove I was  there in real life!

 my heart was  still racing  as  I watched it   pass from view
   and the  dunguaire  priory ruin     captured my imagination!
 and  before I could  say    King Brian Boru... we were  coming into   Galway City!

 and it was  lunchtime...   so  our little band of  friends   scoped out the Skeffington Arms!
  extremely      cozy and    atmospheric!
Image result for skeffington arms hotel
 a multileveled  olde world  establishment     with  a  fabulous  lunch and    patisserie
 and  lovely iced water!

 it was  a great   time  to   settle our  brains  and  just  consider what all we  had experience  that morning and the day was  half done!

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