County Clare, The Burren & the Cliffs of Moher

Eight years ago, my husband and I took an amazing ten day trip around Ireland. My dad lived in Dublin where he was an instructor for the National Ambulance School. Which created a perfect opportunity for us – because my motto is, if you know someone who lives somewhere awesome, and you can stay with them for free, you simply must go visit.

I’ll write more about our trip – because we saw so many amazing things – but one of my absolute favorites was The Burren.

It’s another one of those places that looks pretty in pictures, but you aren’t sure it’s going to live up to the hype. I didn’t have much desire to see it. I’m so glad we did.

About halfway through our trip we were in County Clare checking out the infamous Cliffs of Moher (also known as the Cliffs of Insanity in one of my favorite movies…The Princess Bride).

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They are just as amazing as you think they are going to be. About a year before we visited, a woman actually jumped off with her child in her arms. By the time we got there, you cannot walk all the way to the edge – at least not in the area where you park. It’s scary, though. Seriously. And windy as can be. But breathtaking. My favorite part is where you can see how parts of the cliff just sheared off and fell straight down. Gorgeous

Next we went north and drove through the absolutely most adorable village I’ve ever seen in my life. Lisdoonvarna. If I can ever afford a house in Ireland, it will be here.

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After Lisdoonvarna, we happened upon Lemaneagh Castle. You can’t miss it – it’s right at a fork in the road. There is a really cool old legend about this abandoned manor house and it’s occupant, Maire Ruadh. She supposedly had 25 husbands and liked to hang her maids by their hair from the corbels of the tower. Oh, and one of her husbands, Conor O’Brien was a major player in the rebellion against the whole Cromwellian control of Ireland.

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Then on to The Burren. Lunar – that’s the only way I can describe it. There are no trees. There is no water to be found. There are lovely flowers and plants. And rock everywhere you look.

There are amazing Wedge Tombs – the best is the Poulnabrone Dolman.

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And a ton of just gorgeous rock. It’s about a million times more gorgeous than you think it is. Really. It’s something that can’t be explained, unless you’ve seen it.

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County Clare was my absolute favorite part of the lovely Emerald Isle. The whole island is gorgeous, and I have tons more to write about, but this was the best of the best. Beyond thankful to have a friend who lives there and can send me pictures when there is a gorgeous full moon over the area!