Seeing as though I had way too good a time in Ireland and was way too tired to sit up and blog at night you guys have only had 1 update on my trip. So I will give you the highlights. It was an awesome awesome trip and everyone should go travelling by themselves at least once in their life. It was really awesome.
So the last update you guys had was when I arrived in Quilty. I slept over in Quilty for 2 nights. So I spent the whole day exploring county Clare. More specifically the cliffs of Moher and The Burren. County Clare was my favourite. The cliffs of Moher is absolutely breathtaking and no photograph will ever do it justice. I took (in my usual style) the road less frequented by travellers when I got there. On the other end of the cliffs away from the too perfectly restored tower house, there is a ruin you see, on Hag’s head. And I wanted to go there, so off I go traipsing past the signs that says “Extreme Danger!!!! Do not pass!!!!”, on the edge of the cliff to the other end. That little walk took me just over 2 hours to complete LOL. I freaking walked people. And it’s kak windy up there, I have never experienced windy quite like that before. Like blow you off the edge of the cliff kind of windy. But the long walk I was worth it through and through, you get THE best views of the cliff from that end. Plus you get to go into the really cool ruin at the very end. Awesome. Puffins nest on a little island there by the cliffs so I got Lila the cutest little puffin sparkle globe thingie at the gift shop there, she loves Puffins. They are very cute. I didn’t get to see any in real life though, although it could just be because I was concentrating on not being hurled off the edge of the cliff by the wind. After that I was starving and a little tired so I had lunch in Doolin and then set off to explore The Burren.
Taken from Spanish Point in Quilty (where the spaniards met their end after fleeing trying to invade ireland)
Now The Burren is an area in Ireland that is just limestone, it’s hauntingly beautiful. It’s different beautiful. It’s something you have never seen before. The place is just filled with secrets and stuff predating the pyramids from the Neolithic time period. It’s awesome. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am interested in that kind of thing so to me it was just mind blowing. They reckon that the area was once a river that flowed into the sea and that is how that unique landscape was formed. I took the rest of the day to drive around, stop the car, walk around and just take it all in. I did of course go to find the Neolithic tomb there and this really cool ruin of a house which had a really cool story that I just loved. The house belonged to Maire Rua (Red Mary) the legend goes that she was quite a formidable woman who owned over a thousand hectares of land. Now back in the day if you wanted land, you marched your troops up there, had a wee battle and who ever wasn’t dead in the end won. So some dudes wanted Maire’s land and off her husband went to defend it. When he came back, he was half dead and his leg was blown off by a cannonball. So Maire assessed his condition from their bedroom high up in the house, decided that a half dead husband was no good to her and promptly chucked him out the window where needless to say he met his end. So Maire called a meeting with the attacking generals, which arrived, and instead of what they expected, a negotiation. Maire promptly selected one of the generals and announced that she will be marrying him. So problem solved, no more fighting as the land was not an issue anymore as it now kinda belonged to them anyways. So some time passes, and one fine day, Maire makes her husband drunk aaaaaand promptly chucked him out the window too. Problem solved. I love her. LOL. I also visited Ailwee caves in which they discovered the remains of an European brown bear, which proves that they were once indigenous to Ireland. Cool huh. There are also some 10 000 year old Stalagmites and tites in there. After that I wondered through the little woodland and headed off to get some sleep.
The cliffs of Moher – see that faaaaaar end over there. That’s where I walked to.
The portal tomb in The Burren
Next stop was Callan in county Kilkenny. On the way there I stopped in Ennis, Killalloo (gorgeous), Nenagh (beautiful), Thurles and Cashel. I was really miff because I just missed the last tour of the Rock of Cashel with like 15 minutes. But I got to see some awesome other stuff. I wandered around the streets of Ennis a bit and had a squizz at the Clare Museum. Killaloe is the place the last High King of Ireland, the legandary Brian Boru lived, so I took a walk down the river Clare, took in the beautiful scenery, visited the site of the fort and St Flannan’s oratory and Cathedral and promptly didn’t see that the light for the bridge was red for me and drove up a one way hehehe. Just outside the town there is a lookout point where I stopped and just looked at all the pretty. Next stop Nenagh. I didn’t really spend all that much time there, the castle was closed as they were busy restoring it a bit and the heritage centre was ok. Still a pretty part of Ireland though. I did stop at Farney Castle also on my way out, the lady there didn’t want to tell me much because I was on my own so I left, and it made me late for the rock of Cashel. So pooey. I was rather the moer in so I just left Cashel and went straight on to Moonarch B & B in Callan. Gorgeous little B & B and Catherine is awesome!!
Killaloe – the river Shannon
The next day I was off to county Meath for my last day in Ireland. I slept over in Dunshauglin in another lovely B & B called Killeentierna House, Mrs Morris is a sweetheart! On the way there I stopped in Kildare, I thought going to the Japanese gardens might be worth the trip, but when I got there they charged 12.50 euro entrance. I was not going to pay that to wander through a Japanese garden in Ireland so set off again. I stopped in Trim. And that was freaking awesome!!!! I visited Trim castle and because they didn’t take cards were kind enough to let me go in anyways without paying. Trim castle was awesome. I LOVED it!!! Loved it. It was one of those snot cold days in Ireland though, you know when it’s so cold your nose sommer runs. Like that LOL. But it was so worth stopping there! Awesome. I arrived in Dunshauglin, and then set off to Hill of Tara. I got stung on the ass by a Nettle there. Still now when I think of the word Nettle I get goosebumps. It was one of my best days in Ireland. Hill of Tara is awesome! I found the fairy tree and left my wish there for the fae. And had one of the best meals I had in Ireland at Maguires of Tara. Awesome! Just awesome. After that I went back to Dunshauglin and off to the pub for a couple of pints. I set off the next morning for my very last day to Bru na Boinne to go to Newgrange, the neolithic tomb that pre dates the pyramids. I did not have a good experience there unfortunately. The staff was incredibly rude and you can’t just go and see the sites. You have to pay to see each one and they shuttle you there. So instead of going to Newgrange, Nowth and Howth, I just went to Newgrange. In spite of the initial hiccup and after I calmed down from my the moer in’ness. Visiting that place is an amazing experience. To think that that stuff has been standing there for over 5000 years. No one fixed it up. And what was it used for exactly and how they got all those rocks there, some weighing over 9 tons from such far distances is still a mystery. Really amazing.
Trim Castle – my best!!
From the top of Trim Castle
The photo that cost me a sting on the ass by a Nettle
The fairy tree at Hill of Tara
Newgrange neolithic tomb – that white stone is all quartz
The entrance stone to the ‘tomb’ remember, it’s over 5000 years old!
From there I went back to Dublin, visited the Old James on Distillery, did the tour, had a whiskey and set off to find Clontarf Castle which were my digs for the last night. It was ok. It’s a hotel in a restored castle. But you know, it’s a hotel. I did not sleep well there, the other guests walking past and talking loudly and slamming doors woke me 4 times during the night. I did get to see Dublin Harbour though.
The old Jameson Distillery
And that concluded my trip. I got up at 5am, got dressed and set off for the airport, dropped my rental car and checked in. The irish, unlike the South Africans and the Arabs thought I was some kind of evil terrorist that wanted to blow up the plane with my facewash and deoderant and took it off me. I threw a fit. Which didn’t help. But I still threw it. And stomped off. At least they gave me free internet. Was. Not. Impressed. The whole of Ireland was at the airport that day to go off to Twickenham to watch some really important rugby game so it was very busy and I was not a happy camper. Luckily it was quiet at my gate.
The “1st world” is great and all that and I had a really great time visiting. The streets are clean and pedestrians get right of way, stuff works. but it’s also regulated and ruled to the last little detail. I much prefer living here, where my home is in Africa. The rhythm of Africa pulses strongly through my veins and I love it here where we still have a measure of using and speaking our own minds. I love living in South Africa, this is my home ♥