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Doolin & the Burren

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30–31 Jan 2010   My roommate, Tim, & I decided to have a spontaneous trip to Doolin for the weekend.  In reality it wasn't very spontaneous since we planned it a day in advance, and the trip turned out to be more about exploring the Burren then being in Doolin, but that's ok.  Doolin is famous for its music, and we got to experience that by staying overnight in a great hostel, Aille River Hostel, and we spent the rest of Saturday & Sunday driving the coast and getting lost in the Burren. (We didn't have a map Saturday, but as Tim pointed out–Ireland is about thisbig so its just as easy to get found again as it is to get lost). Spanish Point has to be my favorite beach so far (that might be because it reminds me of Oceanside, Oregon and I'm partial to that place :D ) Anyways, I think I added enough in the captions of the pictures for you to get what's going on, but here's some more detailed info on some of the sites:


Doolin: "Doolin is renowned world wide for its wealth of Irish Traditional Music and attracts visitors of all ages and from all walks of live. Some have returned year after year since  the  60's, others stopped for  a couple of days on  their  travels - and never left. It is hard to tell what it is about Doolin that takes a hold of people, apart from the music. You'll just have to find out for yourself." Here's my favorite little tidbit: Rumor has it that it was in Doolin that J.R.R. Tolkien got his inspiration for
'The Lord Of The Rings.' Now wouldn't that be something...
http://www.doolinireland.net/

The Burren: "
The Burren is an amazing place. It is a karst limestone region of approximately 300 sq km which lies in the north west corner of Co Clare, in Ireland. It is composed of limestone pavements, which are eroded in a distinctive pattern known as karren. This pavement is crisscrossed by cracks known as grykes and underneath the pavement there are huge caves and rivers that suddenly flood when it rains. It contains dozens of megalithic tombs and celtic crosses and a ruined Cistercian Abbey from the 12th century, Corcomroe.You can find villages abandoned since famine times and green roads on which you can walk for miles without ever seeing a car . And if you go in springtime you will find rare wildflowers such as gentian and orchids and bloody cranesbill." http://www.burrenpage.com/

Poulnabrone Dolmen Portal Tomb: "A dolmen is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table). Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow, though in many cases that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact." Wikipedia  "Poulnabrone portal tomb at the Burren in County Clare is one of the world's best known and most visited dolmens.  Ireland is fortunate in having almost 200  dolmens and of course Brownshill in county Carlow is the largest.  But when the setting is taken into account, and the wildflowers of the Burren, the isolation from a built environment, the quite, and the sheer magic are considered, Poulnabrone must come out on top. It is estimated as being 4,500 years old which places it at the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of Ireland's Bronze Age. We must not forget however, that when the dolmen was erected here 4,500 years ago the landscape probably looked very different.  There is evidence that they people who bult the many tombs on the burren actually farmed the area and the Burren would habe had a covering of soil with scrub, trees and grass growing there.  It was this very farming which caused the stripping away of the soil and leaves us today with the dramatis limestone landscape for which the area is famous." http://www.ballybegvillage.com/poulnabrone.html 


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Getting lost in the Burren

Doolin, the Burren, Ireland



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