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
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, sinceit 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 Parkand Muckross House.