A Different Visit to Ireland

Category: Natural Wonders

Lismore to the Knockmealdown Mountains

I left Lismore Castle, heading toward Cahir on an unnamed road that paralleled R668 heading into the Knockmealdown Mountains.
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The Cliffs of Moher

If you are going to Ireland, you have to see the Cliffs of Moher. They are the Cliffs of Insanity in the Princess Bride movie.
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Along the Coast to Doolin Harbour

The drive from the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin was beautiful. I drove down R478, Ballard Road, along the coast.  I drove through Burren karst pavements, beautiful green fields, passed ruins and castles to Doolin Harbour.
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The Burren

I left the Doolin area and headed up into the Burren. I found a castle, abandoned houses, an old school and an old tomb or something.
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Cows Grazing on the Burren

Driving through the Burren in Ireland I saw an amazing phenomena. Cows that seem to grow fat on pastures that are mostly rock.
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Along Galway Bay

I made my way along the small bays of Galway Bay on R477. I saw Ballynacregga Castle and Finavarra Tower, another Napoleon Tower, this one with an oval footprint. The route drives between the beautiful ban and the solid limestone hills of the Burren.  I also visited the little village of Kinvarra and its quay.
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Birr Castle Gardens

Birr Castle Gardens are open to the public. There are 120 acres with five miles of walking paths. Two rivers, the Camcor and the Little Brosna meet within the Castle Demesne walls forming a lake and waterfalls.  An amazing display of rare plants and trees grows here in beautiful profusion. There are over 2000 different species of plants collected by the Earls of Rosse on their travels around the world or given to them by some of the most famous plant hunters.
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Kinbane Headland and Kinbane Castle

Kinbane Headland is about three miles from Ballycastle in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the way to Giant’s Causeway. The walkway leads along the cliff with views of a long narrow headland with castle ruins. The path is narrow and stepped. The view is beautiful, Rathlin Island, birds, flowers and ruins, and, of course, sheep.
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Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is a World Heritage Site in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, three miles northeast of Bushmills, the oldest distillery in Ireland, four miles from Dunluce Castle, eight miles from Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and thirteen miles from Ballycastle, where I stayed.
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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a white-knuckle crossing, a windy rope bridge from sheer cliffs over a deep chasm to an island that rises sheerly out of a turbulent sea. The chasm is a little over 75 feet deep and almost 66 feet wide. And it seemed more.
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Lower Lough Erne and Belleek Pottery

I drove to Belleek Pottery along A46, Lough Shore Road. It was a stunningly beautiful drive. This is where I saw the most adorable thatched house on my trip.
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The Skerries

At the very end of my last day in Ireland, I went to the Skerries. It is a little seaside town on and around Red Island, a tied island sticking out like a thumb into the coast just north of Dublin.
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Caves in the Burren

The Burren is a fascinating part of Ireland, a truly unique place.  There are incredible panoramas with castles and ruins, dolmens,  standing stones, forts and portal tombs, 

You can’t see it, but under the Burren is networked with caves. Continue reading

Plants and Flowers of the Burren

Some see the Burren as just a barren, rocky wilderness. At first all you see is rock and maybe moss. But there is much more to the Burren. Continue reading

Islands of Ireland’s Western Connemara

The March/April issue of GO magazine from AAA has an article Land’s End – Discover the Islands of Ireland’s Western Connemara by L.A.Jackson.

It is about the islands off the west coast of Ireland. I saw them, but did not visit them. Continue reading

Irish Peatland and Bogs

There  are a lot of geographic features in Ireland. Areas vary from the granite, sandstone and limestone mountains to the karst area of the Burren, with limestone, shale and sandstone to the basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway. There are fields and fields full of sheep. And some of those fields are bogs. Continue reading

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