Last spring we spent a month in Ireland. This week the boys and I are doing the Download N Go Expedition Ireland (Fritz’s choice). It’s so fun to learn about places and things we saw while we were over there. As we were looking at pictures this morning it occurred to me that I never posted pictures of our trip on our blog. So here are a few in The Burren in County Clare (since that’s what we learned about today). We went there April 8th.
On our way there we happened upon the ruins of O’Dea Castle. It was built in 1480.
The grounds around it were fascinating. It’s on the edge of The Burren so there are the rocks, but instead of bare rocks they have mossy grass growing over them.
This is a very old church on the inside edge of The Burren. You can see more exposed rock. The church is typical missing its roof. Many of the old churches, abbeys, and monasteries were converted into burial grounds. I’m not sure if this one had any graves inside because it was roped off so we couldn’t get very close to it.
Further on we happened upon Caherconnell Fort. Forts like that one were built and used in the early medieval period between the 5th and 10th centuries. It was quite fascinating to wander around and touch it and see the excavating they are doing.
About a kilometer past Caherconnell was what we were really wanting to see. Poulnabrone Dolmen. These amazing stone slabs marked the tomb of about two dozen people, both adults and children, along with other artifacts. The tomb is dated to about 3600 BC.
The amazing thing about The Burren is the rocks. There’s a saying that in The Burren there is no tree on which to hang a man, no water in which to drown a man, and when he finally dies, it’s too rocky to bury a man. The exposed limestone has been worn away by rain and wind (the wind in The Burren literally howls, but it’s a beautiful sound) and so has ended up in some incredible shapes.