The Burren: Rocks up high and down low

Sunday we traveled to the west coast and visited the Burren Area (a ecologically unique flat limestone plateau.

The Burren landscape

Our first stop on the loop was the Cliffs of Moher. The view was stunning, looming so high over the Atlantic, with the O’Brien’s Tower in the background at the crest.

It was early in the morning so the sun was only shining on the eastern face leaving the other sides in the shade (bummer for pictures). The area had a nice visiting center and built in stairs and walkways but also did not restrict your ability to walk along the edge of the cliff for over a mile. Your choice, you concequences.

O’Brian Tower

Then we went caving! First stop, Doolin Cave, winding metal stairs take you straight down 98 feet to the floor of the cave.

We walked through several tight corridors, around dark corners and voila a stunning stalactite. At 23feet it is the longest free-hanging stalactite in Europe.

Next up, Aillwee Cave, our guide was a bit cheesy but hey there was not 100+ stairs down and up out of the cave like Doolin. A limestone formation, eroded by underground rivers there were a lot of tight spaces and head snags but also some beautiful open caverns, a waterfall and natural stream running through the cave.

J’s doubling down on headwear

J thoroughly enjoyed their 2 hours of caving and is looking forward to a few more caves later in the trip. Completing the loop back to Ennis we passed Leamaneagh Castle ruins and once in Ennis, visited the Ennis Franciscan Friery.

Ennis Friery

Dating back to 13th century it was an interesting visit, situated in the city center of old town. Many of the other ruins We have visited are more remote/grass surrounded. We had lovely weather all day and look forward to more tomorrow.

Typical Ennis street