The Burren & Cliffs of Moher

We went to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher (“mow ‘er”) with a tour bus company on Saturday. It sucked pretty badly. In all fairness, the tour was originally supposed to be €18 and it was discounted to €9. So I guess we can’t complain.

First we stopped at a castle that I couldn’t tell you the name of for all of us to take pictures, and it was actually really nice to finally be able to just pull out our cameras and be tourists.

Driving through the Burren (one of only 19 karst regions in the world) was really cool, too. The roads got tiny and we had to stop once for a few teenage boys to chase a bunch of cows back into the field (we also threw around the idea that this incident was staged for the Americans). The bus stopped at some random point in the Burren for us to take some more pictures, and TJ the tour guide was talking about these rock walls that are all over Ireland to separate property. The ones in this area are just rocks piled on top of each other, called “dry walls” since they don’t cement them together. Well that’s cool, but when we were running around the Burren, Doug easily knocked a sizeable hole in one on accident (“I destroyed my own little piece of Ireland today!”). We were also always the last ones to get back on the bus, a few minutes after the time that TJ set. We were “those guys.”

We had “meat baps” for lunch (apparently that’s a sandwich). We played with the stray dogs outside. We drank free milk (we think). I guess that warrants more information. There was free water at this pub and next to it a jug of what could have been free milk or free cream. We didn’t know if it was cream for the coffee or milk for the tons of American tourists that they process daily. Well, we drank it. The staff could very well have been standing behind the bar laughing at the stupid Americans, but we drank it. It’s hard to tell because the milk here is so damned thick anyway.

Regardless, after that was the main attraction—the Cliffs of Moher. This is what we should have seen (according to Google):

This is what we saw:
When we got back on the bus, TJ said, “I’m so glad the fog cleared up so you lads could see everything.” I’m sorry, are we on the same island, TJ? I don’t think he even made it off the bus. There was one cool thing, though, and that was the watchtower on the edge of the cliff. It’s called O’Brien Tower and had the family crest and everything. Apparently this area is a hot spot for the fam. On the way home we passed O’Brien Castle. TJ said a man named Cornelius O’Brien still lives nextdoor and takes care of the castle (or doesn’t take care of it by the looks of it).Our last stop was a cave in the heart of the Burren. It’s called Aillwee Cave or something to that effect, and it’s famous for having the remains of a European brown bear found inside. TJ said that’s cool because the brown bear has been extinct in Europe for 200 years. Then our cave tour guide said it had been 2,000 years (if you’re really interested, you can Google the truth). The cave tour was nothing special (I guess it’s all those Missouri cave trips Mom and Dad took us on). The only really cool part was when the tour guide was talking about cave diving. He said it’s the most dangerous sport in the world, with the survival rate at 50%, the highest number of deaths going to Florida (U!S!A!).After the cave (it’s got nothing on Meramec Caverns), we drove home. When we got back to the bus station in Galway completely exhausted, we donned our backpacks and walked the 25 or so minutes back to Corrib. It’s ridiculous how good we’re getting at this lifestyle. The other day on the way home from a pub, two American girls we were with were astounded that we were walking. They hopped in a taxi and we pocketed the €3 for a later date (perhaps a stop at the €2 store—the equivalent of our dollar stores—for their infamous candy bar deal).
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  1. Brown bears became extinct in Ireland and England before the Romans came to the British Isles so the 2,000-year figure is the accurate one and yet another strike against TJ, who likely shouldn't say anything during tours.

  2. I'm glad that you are continuing our tradition of making the rest of the tour late while in Ireland. Pretty sure those timely Baptist kids hated us.

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