Cliffs of Moher, and More

Today might have been the latest start yet, though it doesn’t really matter since we see as much as we can all handle in a day anyway. One funny observation, the kids are always hungry 10 minutes after they eat or 3 seconds before we leave. We might have been on the road an hour earlier today, but the kids needed to have second breakfast before we could leave.

We headed straight to the Cliffs of Moher, and after leaving the visitors center since the parking lot was full, we went to a cattle farm and parked there and experienced the cliffs in a way that only the elite get to (okay, maybe not elite since the farm caters to hundreds of vehicles a day, but still, not the typical look). The Cliffs of Moher are a well-earned tourist attraction. It really was breath-taking, and not just because of the lack of concern for safety. The area where the Atlantic Ocean crashes up against the 100m sheer rock face and causes the white foam and brilliant blue water is worth the price of admission (2 Euro for the lot of us). My one regret is that we neglected to bring our lunch supplies with us for the walk, so we left a bit earlier than we would have otherwise. It would have been great to picnic there.

From there, we headed to an area called the Burren, which sounds a lot like the word barren, which is what you would find there. The landscape is all flat weathered limestone rock (which is a ton of fun to run and hop across), and has some ruined castles, churches and burial sites. I think the thing that I found the most impressive about today, after driving a circle of about 50 km is that the road and properties along it are all separated by the exact same type of rock ( a dull grey) all dry stacked to form a wall, with sections that are like the rooks on a chess board at every driveway entrance.

Shawn and I also visited the local pub tonight when we got back home – just briefly for a pint or two of Murphy’s Irish Stout and some pleasant conversation with the owner/bartender. We have one more day in this area before heading toward the ring of Kerry, which is reputed to be just gorgeous (re-confirmed by the bartender tonight). I think tomorrow will likely be low-key, but who knows what is in store.

Everybody is getting along great and the kids are still excited to hang out. Shawn and I commented tonight that their favourite part of the trip, or their most vivid memories will probably be those of playing together in the yard (which of course they would do in Canada just as readily – and for 1/100th the cost as they are doing here – but I think it is nice that for the rest of their lives, my children will have memories of different parts of the world that are tied to different people from home, and how fitting that their memories of their time here is tied to the O’Keefe’s!)

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