Driving through Ennis town, we happened upon the local farmers' market. Some folks called it a bring-and-buy. It was enough like a swap meet to warm Tom's heart. We were able to pick up some fresh (and good!) stuff for our lunch, without having to spend a bunch of euros.  

Headed out of town towards the Burren, we stopped at Dysert O'Dea castle. We couldn't go inside that day, but we were able to read about the history of the castle.

A roadside shrine.

There were lots of these along the way.

Leananegh Castle, described as being in a "tolerable state of repair."


A sign beckoned us to Poulawack cairn, a Bronze Age burial site. We trekked up through pastures strewn with rocks and wildflowers


An old shepherd's hut.

Or would that be a shepherd's old hut?


Modern-day druids had rearranged some of the stones into fanciful patterns.

Apparently, the ancients found a good use for all of the rock that was lying around. They built countless ring forts. We ate lunch at one of them, Cathair Chonaill.



Our search for antiquities brought us to the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a portal tomb.



A shield of limestone covers a big chunk of western Ireland right up to the sea. We stopped in at the Burren Centre in Kilfenora, where we learned about the history, geology, and other aspects of the Burren. "An Bhoireann" (in Gaelic) means "a stony place." It was hard to imagine how the ancient people could farm (or do much of anything else) there.


There were lots of large boulders dropped haphazardly across the landscape. They were deposited by glaciers during the last ice age. They're called glacial erratics. As we drove around, we would shout, "There's another erotic!" Don't ask me why.


We reached Ireland's western coast, on our way to Doolin. The waves were crashing dramatically on the rocks. Some other tourists got quite close to the edge. We worried that they would be washed away when a really big wave hit.


We continued to be amazed at the plant and animal life that could be found amongst the rocks.


One of the most spectacular sights in Ireland is the Cliffs of Moher. We got there just before sunset. The visitor center was closed, partly because of the construction of the new visitor center. In any event, the end result was that we got to see a “sight” without having to pay an entrance fee (no €!!!).


This is a castle near the Cliffs of Moher. Quite a few of the castles that we saw were on private property. It seemed strange that they wouldn't be in a park of owned by the government.


Pics of the cliffs are better viewed in large format. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger photo.

We arrived in Doolin in time to check into our B&B and go out to a nice dinner at the Lazy Lobster (thanks to a tip from our Rick Steves guidebook). For such a small town, it was amazing that there was such a nice restaurant. It probably has something to do with the hordes of tourists that come here during high season. We were glad that we were visiting during the off season. We had no problem getting in to places that might have been packed full during the summer months.


Doolin is a charming little town in western Ireland. Well, they all seemed to be charming, but this one really went the extra mile (kilometre) in the charm department.