Monday, August 20, 2007
Time to leave the cute Adare Country House. Turns out our host, Dennis, has a cousin who was also a classmate that lives in San Jose and frequents O’Flaherty’s pub in Downtown San Jose. Hey, we live in downtown San Jose! So Mark has a card to give the guy from Dennis and an excuse to go the pub after work. I would like to mention how nice Dennis and his wife Eileen were. Very personable and friendly and super nice to our kids. I highly recommend their B & B. We decided to drive the “long way” and go to the Cliffs of Moher and through the burren on the way to Galway. Oh my, there is nothing I can say that will do the Cliffs of Moher justice. They are just breathtaking. Another breathtaking thing that day was the sun! Yahoo! We also enjoyed the Caterpillars of Moher. It was so windy there I wonder how the butterflies managed to fly to lay eggs to turn into caterpillars in the first place. And then leaving the Cliffs of Moher we saw the Cheapskates of Moher. These people chose to park on narrow side roads in private property rather than pay the 8 euro parking fee. Now 8 euros does sound like a lot for parking in a dirt lot, but they just built this visitor center into the hill and upgraded the view areas and made them safer, and that money had to come from somewhere. So come on people, don’t block the roads and make a hazard of yourselves just to save some dough! After the Cliffs we passed the very tiny town of Doolin and can see why it is not recommended to stay there–it really is tiny! We headed along the road to Lisdoonvarna, where we had lunch. It’s a small town that apparently gets very hopping in September when they have their matchmaking festival. After lunch, we went to the Burren Center to learn about the history of the burren, how it was made, etc. There is a museum with little panoramic recreations of the prehistoric people, the insides of a tomb, and animals and plants and fossils that are found in the burren. There was also the mandatory Audio Visual presentation but this one was pretty good, because it explained how the burren was formed from limestone, and what plants make their home there. After that we went to the ruined church next door, which was cute. Then we drove to the Poulnabrone portal tomb, a megalithic tomb that is very dramatic and conveniently located right off of the road. The girls really enjoyed jumping from rock to rock in the burren and Mark and I were surprised how fascinating the whole thing was to us. It really is an interesting place and well worth a stop. Next we drove into Galway, and I was so proud of my navigation skills. I was able, based on general directions and a memory of a picture of Salthill from a web site, to correctly get us to our B & B, the Rockhill House. As I expected, it was more along the lines of the one at Kinsale but the owner was a little bit more friendly. We were all in a family room which was big enough so that was good at least. We unpacked and then headed out to take a walk along the waterfront (sun!) and go to dinner. We found ourselves at this pretty good restaurant called Da Roberta (Italian) that was really good. After that very filling meal we all were tired so went off to bed.