Day 2 of Girls Trip: Day Tour to Cliffs of Moher -from Galway.
(going forward these posts will be heavy with photographs. you’ve been warned)
Our second day in Ireland Kelsey and I got up to go and meet for the tour. We both had been looking forward to this one. We were both excited to explore and see The Wild Atlantic Way and see the famous Cliffs of Moher. We took a full day tour with Galway Tour Company through Viator.com. Everyone met at the Galway Coach Station at 10 am with tickets at the ready.
Before heading to the station we stopped at the Jungle Cafe. We had walked up to the station and then realized that we were exceptionally early so we had time to spare to sit and relax with coffee and a scone before going.
Once 10 o’clock hit our tour guide and the company gathered everyone up onto the bus. Our tour guide introduced himself as well as our bus driver and then we were off out past Galway onto the highway and then into the country side leading us to the Wild Atlantic Way. Passing farms, warn and crumbled castles and towers, we passed by sheep and more sheep until we made it to our first stop at Dunguaire Castle within Galway, Co.
Dunguaire Castle built in the early 1500’s sitting over looking out into the bay into the village (Kinvara) nearby. Dunguaire is more specifically a Tower House which from this tour and some more research is what I have learned. Either way Kelsey and I had fun exploring the grounds.
at this point I don’t know how to slow the posts down with the pictures. I don’t think these pictures give it such justice as being there. The smell of the Atlantic, the green that captivates you everywhere you go, the people and all around just the experience of being there. For a moment remember yourself as a child dreaming up worlds and stories for yourself, of castles and far far off places that you only hear of and read in stories. That little girl who resides inside of me came out and well what could I do but to let her play. What more could you offer for imagination but the ocean, stones, a castle and a village that resides close by.
We all got back into the bus for our next stop where we headed south to the Burren to visit the geosite Poulnabrone Dolman. An archeological site that sits on a very unique geological area due to glacial activity from the last ice age.
Along The Burren and through out the west coast of Ireland you see many fields lined by dry stone walls. The land out in the area is stony and rocky for farmers wanting to farm and having grazing land for their sheep they had to clear the land and then they used the stone to build the walls to use up the stone. The less techincal of the dry stone walls are layered by size and weight, heavy larger rocks on bottom smaller rocks up top. This also helps keeps the stones from falling. In and along The Burren you have what is called the Famine Wall. Created solely for the purpose of helping the local community during time of the famine to create employment by local landlords and churches. The walls have no other purpose but clearing the land.
Back on the road we wind ourselves on the windy roads of Ireland into Kilfenora, Co Clare for the Kilfenora Cathedral and the High Crosses. The present structure was rebuilt in the 1100’s. Walk through the Cathedral and cemetery and there are plaques with historical information.
We took another quick drive along the back roads into Doolin, Co. Clara for our stop for lunch. Doolin is your quaint essential coastal Irish village. The village is lined along a narrow windy road with your shops and pubs. The pub itself was busy with the demand of other tour busses and tourist on their way to The Cliffs. We got a seat at the bar got the quickest meal Irish Stew and a Pint of Guinness. We enjoyed our food and drink thinking how very Leap Year, it was (yep, and you thought I wouldn’t bring that up, ha you were wrong). Before getting back into the buss we went next door for fudge for the road.
The village is in the perfect little nook to the coast driving down to the waters edge the road curves and sways before opening up to the ocean. We stopped for a few moments down at the Doolin port were we were able to get a good view of the Cliffs from the bottom and the Aran Islands.
The waves were something else spectacular that I have never seen on either coast on the U.S.. They pounded and thundered, sprayed and foamed. Nature as always is something of wonder the more so with water in all its many forms it takes on. Changing whatever it touches just as you are watching it as if each land form is just clay for it to mold, rise and lower, intersect and bypass wherever it is needing to go. The way the Ocean and Land created over time the Cliffs is something of beauty.
We spent a good 1 and a 1/2 up at the top of the Cliffs of Moher. Walking and admiring taking pictures reading the different plaques and the information inside the Museum where it talks more in detail of the topography and history in the region.
There is a scene in the movie adaptation of Jane Austins Pride and Predjuice where Elizebeth is standing looking out over a cliff to the ocean as she is traveling with her aunt and uncle, I might have always wanted to have a moment like that. The book and movie of course take place on a different island but you know with all the other people milling about I still kinda had the moment.
Though for you movie buffs and especially Harry Potter buffs Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was filmed out on location at the Cliffs of Moher. So that was pretty exciting to see where at they filmed at and I have to say kinda a little scary down there.
After the Cliffs we ended the day with one more stop that had a view of the cliffs and the ocean before making our way back for dinner in Galway.
The day as a whole was a hit. We had fun and learned a lot from our tour guide with Galway Tour Company. They were entertaining, knowledgeable and most of all kept us all safe. We used Viator.com to book through them for the price and the length of time and the places we went to I am really glad we did it. It gave us a good basic understanding of some historical places, we didn’t have to drive and we were able to find out about places that we might have missed or skipped over had it been just the two of us renting a car and going. We also wouldn’t have gotten all the other Information about the dry stone walls, or learning about fairy trees and how to know if one is one or not and listening to some traditional and known traditional Irish bands.
Well I hope you enjoyed that and it gets you planning for your own trip when the time comes.