The Lizard Chronicles

Some of this is true. Some of this is better. –Too Much Joy

IRL IRL Day 2: Cliffs, Karst, and a Cave October 5, 2016

The morning of our second day on the Emerald Isle, we encountered our first Irish traffic jam. In case you can’t tell because of the poor quality of the photo (it was taken through the windshield…no, I was not the one driving), those are horses.

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This is allegedly a two-way road. Really, Ireland?

Our first stop was the Cliffs of Insanity…erm, I mean the Cliffs of Moher. I’m told we were lucky to have been there on a clear day, as many a traveler had gone to the cliffs only to have them mostly obscured by fog. We couldn’t have picked a better day…well, except for the fact that we were there outside of puffin nesting season. 😦

 

Three of us being alumni of Bradley University, we even brought along a flat version of the school’s founder, Lydia Moss Bradley, as part of her 200th birthday celebration (#CelebrateLydia).

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Bradley Alumni with Flat Lydia at the Cliffs of Moher

In addition to the stunning views, we saw several signs…with varying degrees of usefulness.

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They’re not called the Cliffs of Insanity for nothing.

seagulls

My best guess is that this means “do not light seagulls on fire.”

Our next destination was Poulnabrone Dolmen, which, contrary to what you might believe, does not mean “stones wrapped in giant grape leaves.” It’s actually a portal tomb, which dates back to the Neolithic period, and sort of looks like Frank Lloyd Wright’s take on Stonehenge.

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Poulnabrone Dolmen

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Karst field

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Life amidst the rocks

From there, we went to Kilfenora for lunch and libations at Vaughn’s Pub.

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Ailwee Cave was next on our agenda. During the tour, for a short time, all light sources were extinguished, and we were allowed to experience complete darkness. The guide instructed us to wave our own hands in front of our faces, and I swore I could see my hand…even though I knew I really couldn’t. It’s not hard to imagine how, if lost in the total darkness of a cave, one’s mind could quickly begin to play tricks.

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“Straws” in Ailwee Cave (apparently, they don’t get much longer than this, so we were lucky again)

Having finished our sightseeing for the day, we headed back to Ballyvaughn. This time, we made it to the grocery store before it closed, only to find that they did not carry beer. Yes, we’d bought some the night before, but that wasn’t going to last forever. Instead, we restocked our supply of snacks and planned to hit the off-license store again later.

We dined at L’Arco, an Italian restaurant with good food and…unhurried service. By the time we were done there, the off license store was closed (turns out it’s only open for about 2 hours each day). Once again, we were left to wonder, why is it so hard to by beer in Ireland? Nevertheless, the day was in the books as a good one.

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