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PADDY'S IRELAND TOUR

BURREN-LIMERICK

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Saturday May 22, 2010. The journey began at "The Burren", meaning "Great Rock", in County Clare. It is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe; it was shaped by the dissolution of layers of soluble bedrock, such as limestone & dolomite. Throughout the region there are patches of grass and water interspersed with rocks, and occasionally an ubiquitous castle in ruins.

          

 It's been said that "...there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him...and yet their cattle are very fat; for the grass growing in turfs of earth, of two or three foot square, that lie beneath the rocks, which are of limestone, is very sweet and nourishing."

            

 

We continued on our way towards the Cliffs of Moher, passing through some very green fields with typical stone barriers limiting them, as well as an impressive roundabout in the shape of the number eight.

           

           

        

  

Soon we were within view of the famed Cliffs of Moher. Their majestic beauty was unforgettable. After taking in the awesome views, we posed for a few pictures, including one with the "Three Graces", oops! I mean "The Three Pats"

                 

 

The next stop was a sobering one. We were in County Clare, which has the dubious honor of being the county most affected by the great Irish Famine, where over 50,000 people died between 1845-47. There is a tendency nowadays to refer to The Famine as The Holocaust, since it has become apparent that there were other causes for the famine, not only a shortage of the potatoes crop and the cattle scarcity. Mainly it was the English refusal to let the Irish cultivate, hunt and fish in the former's properties. The following pictures are self-explanatory.

                   

         

 

As we traveled towards our hotel in Killarney, County Kerry, we stopped to visit the Adare Heritage Center, where it's possible to find out everything related to the numerous Irish surnames and their families of origin. Continuing on our way, we passed by  monument jokingly referred to as "O'Brien's Last Erection"; he was a magistrate for County Clare, and during his lifetime he was responsible for the erection of many buildings.

        

 

We stayed at the Dromhall Hotel, very centrally located in Killarney. Of course we went for an exploring walk in town, and saw many interest-looking streets; I took some pictures of motorcycles lined up like they do in New Hope or Freehold. And of course everyone remarked on my name prominently displayed on a storefront.

            

       

 

Everywhere in town there were typical Irish names advertising the different establishments, and after taking pictures of many of them, I was taken aback by the likeness of a bronze statue of an accordion player, which looked very much like my dear departed friend, Jim, McNally, who as his name indicates, was very much an American Irishman.

           

       

Tomorrow we visit Killarney's National Park and Muckross House.     

 

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