Cliffs of Moher

Before we dropped the golfers off at Lahinch on Thursday our entire group took a trip to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. The gray day leant an air of melancholy to the visit and the winds blew cold and fierce. More than once I thought my phone would be blown from my hands as I snapped photos.

This picture is of the left side of the cliff walk. I only walked up the right side.

Studly Doright only ventured as far as the visitors’ center, above, so I explored without him.
Members of our group
I didn’t really gain weight on the trip, but my multiple layers made it look like I’d added at least a stone (aka 14 lbs.)

Our bus driver, Paul, said the Cliffs of Moher had seen more than its share of jumpers through the years. Often the only clue that a suicide occurred was an unclaimed car in the parking area at day’s end. On a brighter note, the Cliffs are also a favorite place for marriage proposals. I just watched for dragons.

Peace, people.

Poulnabrone

Without a doubt the most memorable side trip of our eight days in Ireland was a visit to the Portal Tomb or Poulnabrone Dolmen in County Clare. We drove out to the tomb on our last full day on the island while the men played golf at Lahinch. I’d almost despaired that we’d have no opportunity to see such a place, but the wait was worth it.

As we drove through the Burren toward the tomb the landscape took on an otherworldly aspect, with outcroppings of limestone competing with short grasses and bursts of wildflowers. Our driver parked the bus and a blast of cold wind greeted us, but didn’t deter us from scampering up the hill to the Poulnabrone.

Limestone outcroppings made for treacherous stepping.

There was power in this place.

The tomb is thought to have been erected between 2,500 and 4,000 years B.C. 

I spoke with a gentleman who helps keep watch over the crowds of visitors. He said that vandals have found ways to carve initials into the stones, have removed small stones, and have even urinated on the tomb. I can’t imagine the callous disregard for something so ancient.

A Pint at Doonbeg

I didn’t plan to blog a beer a day, but it’s been one of the most enjoyable parts of my trip to Ireland. Trust me, I’m no beer expert, and I can’t pick a favorite, but that’s not going to prevent me from continuing the search.

It might be just my imagination, but I believe the bartenders’ faces light up when I ask about their local brews. I’ve yet to be disappointed in their offerings. 

Last night was our first in a new hotel. We’re at Doonbeg in County Clare, so I ordered one of their two locally produced beers at dinner last evening: White Gypsy Blond, a German Hefeweizen beer by White Gypsy (Shelta Beer Co), a brewery in Tipperary.


It was an easy beer to enjoy, and I might have had a second glass just to be sure I liked it as much as I thought I did. 

Here’s a toast to all our friends:

There are good ships,

and there are wood ships,

The ships that sail the sea.

But the best ships, are friendships,

And may they always be.