County Clare Journals

Scenic County Clare , Ireland

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An October 2002 trip to County Clare by Carmen

Dalys House Photo, County Clare, Ireland More Photos
Quote: Our first night's stay and day two of our driving trip (day one, see entry for Cork County, Ireland)took us through some of the most scenic parts of the Emerald Isle.

Scenic County Clare , Ireland

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Overview

The Cliffs of Moher Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
County Clare plays host to one of the most spectacular natural wonders you can see, the Cliffs of Moher. (Which we took to calling the Cliffs of Mohair, seeing so many sheep and all reminded us of wool, mohair, etc. Ok, so maybe it was only funny to us.) Anyway, it's hard to judge just how big they are, until you see a tiny little person standing on the edge, then you realize the magnitude of what you're seeing. It was a great photo op, and one that I had looked forward to since reading about them in researching the trip. Then there's the Burren -- which is Gaelic for "rocky place." Pretty much, it's limestone as far as the eye can see. But wait, there's more to it than that. Ther...Read More

Daly's House

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Hotel

Daly's House Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
Our tour package included vouchers for the B&Bs, so I'm not sure the exact price per night. However, Daly's House, while not large, made up for any shortcomings in the hospitality shown to us by our hosts. Susan Daly, the proprieter, had the flu, but her daughter and cousin more than took care of us. The room was certainly comfortable (though I thought most of the rooms in the B&Bs were a bit on the chilly side) with its own bathroom. Coffee and tea were available at all times, and the stay included (as do most) a traditional Irish breakfast -- eggs, bacon (ham) tomato, sausage, toast. Cereal was also available, as is coffee, tea and hot chocolate. It's a great location to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Daly's House
Doolin
County Clare, Ireland
(065) 707-4242

Dromoland Castle

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Hotel

Dromoland Castle Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
We were using vouchers for the trip which were included in the whole price of our tour, so I'm not sure what the exact price was, and we also got a room upgrade for some reason, so again not sure of the price. "The Royal O'Brien clan descended in an unbroken line from the High King Brian Boru, victor over the Danes at Clontarf in 1014. In 1570 it was made a gift to Donough O'Brien. Reminders from the original castle remain" - Drumoland brochure. While Dromoland Castle was originally a real castle, the original structure was rebuilt, so it looks more modern than most of the stone buildings in Ireland. Dromoland is also a resort, with golf, spa, etc. So it feels a little fake at times - ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Dromoland Castle
Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare
County Clare, Ireland
(061) 368-144

Quote:
We hadn't planned on so formal a dining experience, and weren't really dressed for the occassion, but the staff at the restaurant welcomed us anyway. The five-course meal costs about 56 euro, and you select from a pre-determined menu what you'd like for each course. Everything was mouthwatering. The bread was soft and warm, the coffee was the best I've ever tasted, the service was impeccable (though the waiter mumbled a lot.) To entertain us as we ate was a harpist, who sang lonely Irish songs, and the schtick at the restaraunt was the unveiling of the meal by lavishly taking the silver lid off in unison. Kind of corney, especially when the harpist got in on the act, but fun. We were brou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Earl of Thomond Restaurant - Dromoland Castle
Drumoland Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare
County Clare, Ireland
(061) 368-144

Doolin

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Attraction | "Town of Doolin - Play that Irish Music"

Quote:
Doolin is a small town, probably about 10 minutes from one end to the other, made up of mostly B&Bs, due to its prime location. (You can see the Cliffs of Moher in the distance, and in the summer months, you can catch a ferry to the Aran Islands, just off the coast. We were disappointed to find out that the ferry stopped running in October due to the tide and surf, so if we wanted to see the islands, we'd have to ferry from Galway.) It is regarded as the home of traditional Irish music. There's one pub, Gus O'Connors, that has music each and every night. (see my entry for ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Doolin
The Burren, County Clare
County Clare, Ireland

O'Connors Pub

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Attraction

O'Connors Pub Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
O'Connors pub is in the heart of Doolin and is an attraction mostly because of the Irish music played there every night starting at about 9:30. We sat back with a pint of ale and listened to the musicians as they played their traditional tunes to the delight of the customers. It was first estabilished in 1832, and has a distinctive "pubby" feel to it. The great news is that there's plenty of sitting - and you'd only need to stand to get a better view of the musicians. I was surprised at how small the pub was (but in comparison the bar is huge), but it gave it a more cozy feel, really. The coziness makes it a little more smokey - which adds a haze and an atmosphere. The best part of t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

O'Connors Pub
Doolin, County Clare, Ireland
County Clare, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher

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Attraction

Cliffs of Moher Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
There's nothing that can prepare you for the sight you'll see at the Cliffs of Moher. No picture can do them justice -- they're kind of like the Grand Canyon in that way. But I'll try to explain and show pictures to give you an idea. The cliffs plummet into the Atlantic Ocean at a height of nearly 700 feet. They span a 4-mile distance, and the principal cliffs have names. Hag's Head, Stooken, Ailleensharragh and Knockardakin -- the highest. On top of the highest cliff sits O'Brien's Tower, constructed in 1835 by Cornelius (Corney) O'Brien as an observation tower for tourists. SHould you like to pay a small entrance fee, you can go up in the tower for a different vantage point. We decided that w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Cliffs of Moher
Southwestern Edge of the Burren Region
County Clare, Ireland

The Burren

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Attraction | "The Burren - Among the Stones"

The Burren Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
The Burren, in northwestern County Clare means "rocky place" in Gaelic -- and that's exactly the best way to describe it. There are limestone rocks as far as you can see, ending only where the land stops and the Atlantic starts. I was told the limestone is a remnant of a 300-million-year-old ocean. In some places, it looks like the rocks are just growing out of the ground, and there are plenty of curious rock formations. Though you'd think it'd be a barren land, there are flora and fauna here that are found nowhere else - including ORCHIDS! There's no explaining it unless you've seen it, take a look at my pictures. We were headed to Galway from the Cliffs of Moher, heading north on the N67, whe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

The Burren
Bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay
Northwest County Clare

Shannon River Car Ferry

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Attraction

Shannon River Car Ferry Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
In planning our trip to Ireland, I did a little corresponding with the proprieter of our B&B in Doolin, Susan Daly. Daly's House I was discussing with her our long trip from the south, and she suggested the car ferry. Thank goodness for that suggestion. It saved us a lot of time! The car ferry, which transports you from Killimer, Co. Clare, to Tarber, Co. Kerry, (or the other way around)along the west coast, to save travellers 85 miles as they travel the western coast of Ireland. It's not only functional, but entertaining. You can see some spectacular sights of the Irish countryside and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 26, 2002

Shannon River Car Ferry
County Clare, County Kerry
County Clare, Ireland