Friday, June 3Our drive from Clifden to Ennis took us around the western coast through Galway and along the Wild Atlantic Way, a scenic route that has quite a few attractions to stop and check out along the way. The first of these was Dunguaire Castle:
*photo of the castle:
Dunguaire Castle was an Irish Tower House built in 1520 by the O'Hynes Clan.
Price of admission was €6 apiece, and I thought it was worth that because you could get up close to see the rooms:
*photo of the banquet hall:
And you could walk up these 77 stairs to the top where you could walk around the castle. I didn't count the stairs - the man taking our tickets told us there were 77 of them. :)
*photo of the spiral stone staircase:
The top floor had some victorian type furniture and information about a woman from England who purchased the castle after WWII to restore it and live in it.
*photo of a sitting room:
The walkway around the top of the castle was very narrow, but a fun way to get three extremely cheesy photos of us looking out at the landscape:
*pic of Dusty and the view:
*pic of JAke and the view:
*pic of me and the view:
The view was something to see, though:
Our next stop was the Cliffs of Moher, which sit in the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare. They rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head:
They reach their maximum height of 702 feet near O'Brien's tower:
*photo of the tower:
The cliffs are one of the top tourist sites in Ireland - and about one million visitors per year come to see them. They have a modern and interesting visitors center and a great gift shop.
*photos of the cliffs:
The Cliffs were used to film "The Cliffs of Insanity" in The Princess Bride and scenes from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince were also filmed here.
*pic of jake in front of the cliffs:
We hiked a path that went beyond the visitor's center almost all the way to the northern end. To our left were sheer drop offs and jagged rock. It was nervewracking at times and Dusty and I kept telling Jake to get away from the edge. It was like he was a little kid again! But to our right were calm, peaceful cow pastures:
*pic of the pastures:
After visiting the cliffs, we drove to our hotel. We spent the night in Ennis, Ireland, a colorful little shopping city. Each storefront is colored with brightly painted designs:
*bright pink and green store called 'glamorize':
*yellow and black building called the diamond bar:
*a purple bookshop:
We decided to eat at a restaurant called The Storehouse that was upstairs from this bar:
It was a nice dinner, and we were enthralled by a world darts championship on TV:
After dinner we walked around for a while and then Dusty and I enjoyed a drink in our lovely hotel courtyard while Jake had some downtime in the hotel room. We stayed at a place called The Old Ground Hotel and although I reserved a junior suite, we were told at reception that they were sold out of them, so they put us in a grand suite. It's room number is 317. How Irish is that?
*photo of the hotel courtyard:
Heading to Dublin today! I'm told there's an actual interstate type road for much of the way. That will be a huge relief from the tiny, twisty roads we've been traveling.