Friday, May 07, 2004

Irish music and Guinness

Last night we had a fantastic experience! We went to a little pub in Doolin and listened to a real Irish band. I must admit they started a bit late for us old dears but it was great. We caught the ferry over the Shannon River and travelled up to Licannor, County Clare where we stayed overnight at the Atlantic View, just a stones throw from Doolin, the "Music Capital of Ireland". We were really looking forward to hearing an Irish band in an Irish pub and weren't disappointed.

The B&B is on the fringe of the world famous Burren, a remarkable limestone area, with huge pavements of limestone called 'clints' and vertical fissures called 'grikes'. Situated within the Burren is the Poulnabrone dolmen. A thin capstone sits on two 1.8m (6ft) high portal stones to create a chamber in a 9m (30ft) low cairn. The eastern portal stone was replaced in 1985, following a discovery that it was unfortunately cracked; excavations during the repair showed that this site dated back to about 2500BC.

The Cliffs of Moher rise majestically from the Atlantic Ocean to a height of nearly 200m and extend for a distance of 8km from Hag's Head due west of Liscannor to a point beyond O'Brien's Tower. They take their name from a ruined promontory fort, Mothar, which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara.

To the south of the cliffs is Hag's Head and the cliffs reach their highest point just north of O' Brien's Tower. The Tower was built by Cornelius O' Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, to impress female visitors. The seastack, Breanan Mór, stands over 70 metres above the foaming waves.

Ended the day by travelling through to Abocurragh Farm Guesthouse, Latterbreen, County Fermanagh near Enniskillen and staying with Mrs Bernie Mullally (funny how they love the title - I saw the Government directory the other day and saw me described as Mrs and nearly had a fit). The house has been featured in Northern Ireland Homes Interiors and Living Magazine and the BBC Holiday programme. As well as running the guesthouse Bernie and Mr Bernie manage a Dairy Farm. When we arrived Mr Bernie was busy in the garden erecting a lattice backdrop to an urn on a plinth. I liked the way they had arranged their stepping stones in the pebbles and thought I might do it across the front of my place, yet to implement! Bernie greeted us like long lost family and brought us delicious home baked biscuits and coffee, I could get used to this!

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