When you reach the southern viewpoint at the Cliffs of Moher you'll find a sign warning for going too close to the edge of the cliffs because there are no protective fences. It's not that I want you to ignore that law because it's a way to keep you safe from falling into the sea. If you approach the edge there is no danger, except if you go there with kids, it could be a little dicey for them. No one or almost no one gets too close to the edge.
This is the first stop on the tour along the road from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, and features a dolmen from the Bronze Age. The dolmen is exactly like all the other dolmens in the world, but the difference is that the surrounding environment is so special: an otherworldly landscape shrouded in absolute silence.
O'Brien's Tower is a circular stone tower which is about halfway up cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien in 1835 as a lookout for tourists who flocked to the place at that time. From the top of the lookout you can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and in the background the mountains in Connemara Maumturk. O'Brien also built a wall of flagstones along the Cliffs of Moher and is said in the town that he built everything in the area except the cliffs. If I remember right, a climb up the tower costs £ 6.
The Burren is a landscape of mostly limestone covering 320 square km that is home to over 70% of Ireland's native plantlife. On our tour to the Cliffs of Moher, we first went to a cottage on a hill where you could see the expansiveness of the surrounding landscape. It was very tiring, but the views were worth it. I didn't understand much of what our guide said, but he mentioned that the few houses that are in the area tended to be black and white to withstand the sun and cold alike. The area was originally where they took animals to graze.
Shannon Airport is the main airport of Ryanair. Shannon City itself, is of no great interest, besides being the airport with the most Ryanair flights. It's 200 kilometers from Dublin, but there are direct buses that leave from the airport, you don't even have to go to the city center to catch the bus. It cost only 10 euros if you buy them online. Then there is the nearby town of Limerick. It's an industrial town but it has a nice medieval core. From Shannon, Ryanair flies to London, Paris, Poland, Belin, Girona. There are also some Aer Lingus and other Irish low cost flights, as well as flights to New York with Delta or Continental Airlines. Air France has some flights to Paris too. I expected a huge airport, with some of international hubs, but it's a small countryside airport! At the exit, there are taxis and buses for Shannon or every half hour to every hour to Limerick and Dublin.
Previously a home to more than 300 Franciscan friars and 600 seminarians. After becoming a huge complex with a church, surrounded by cloisters, dormitories, schools, workshops, all that remains today are the ruins. This does not make it any less interesting. Although it is small, it has a certain mysterious touch that makes it charming. It still has its tower, with details on the walls, a typical graveyard with tombstones embedded in the lawn and a full burial ground. That is perhaps what caught my attention more. You can visit with or without a guide. This is certainly one of the most striking monuments of the city of Ennis, although unknown to many people, it is very quiet and pretty.
Built in the mid nineteenth century, it had to be restored in the last century due to fire. This is the most important building in the town of Ennis. Besides its historical and architectural importance, it is a beautiful highlight of the picturesque O'Connell Street, which ends with the column of O'Connell - another magnificent monument of the city.
In Gaelic O'Connell Street is called Uí Chonaill Sraid, and it's undoubtedly the most picturesque street of the city, full of colorful houses, shops with eye-catching posters, etc. I walked the stretch from the Cathedral to the monument to O'Connell (look at it first on Google's street view).
From Galway you can make excursions to the area of the Burren, and one of the stops is Aillwee Cave. It is the most famous Burren cave, about a mile in length, with an underground river and long stalactites and stalagmites. Outside, you can admire the rocky landscape.
We arrived at Kilkee with the intention of spending the night there, but we found that there were no rooms available. This is a coastal town where the Limerick locals escape to, with a great beach that shone that day under the sun ... we decided to continue north, but not without going closer to the cliffs that extend on both sides of the beach. On the far left, just passed all the houses, there's a tiny car park and a bar-restaurant where we ended up eating after our walk. We left the car and started walking, and we are suddenly transported to a different world. No, these are not the famous Cliffs of Moher, but they are really beautiful and the road runs through the meadows and gently rolling terrain. You can always get close to the edge of it, where it's a sheer drop to the water, but with caution because they are in a state of permanent erosion and it is easily visible, so ... be careful!!. On the way you will meet small groups of women, couples and older people coming out to for a walk, they'll greet you warmly :) A small walk that can take you several kilometers along the coast, whatever you want ;)
This is a striking sculpture in the centre of the square, where buyer and seller seal the sale of a cow with a handshake. In the same square, there is a post office (I still send postcards from remote locations).
On the way back from the Cliffs of Moher, we stopped in Doolin harbor for a picnic on the beach, with perfect weather and views of those distant cliffs, I had the opportunity to "sketch" this gull who had to go in search of their own snack
In the center of town, at the end of O 'Connell Street, there is this remarkable Doric column dedicated to Daniel O' Connell. He was a politician who forced the approval for the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829.