Bee Hive Hut Structures
Many beehive huts have lost the uppermost stones, leaving them flat and open on top.
Bee Hive Hut toilet paper Dingle
Best. Sign. Ever.
The road to Clogher Strand is just visible on the upper right.
Dunbeg Promontory Fort
The remains of Dunbeg Promontory Fort are enclosed by a sturdy fence, as much of it has already fallen into the sea.
People (and even sheep) can walk down the steep path to the Dunquin Harbour pier for a trip to the Blasket Islands.
Gallarus Oratory is still waterproof after several centuries of being buffeted by Atlantic gales.
The Romanesque Kilmalkedar Church was built in the 12th century.
The view from Slea Head is said to be stunning on a clear day. We had to use our imaginations.
Coumeenoole Beach Closeup
Many scenes from the romantic drama, Ryan's Daughter, were filmed on this beach.
Ballycarberry Castle interior
A few stone staircases still provide access to the rooms inside Ballycarberry Castle though many lead to dead-ends or drop-offs. The back wall is completely gone.
The front of the ivy-covered Ballycarberry Castle still looks impressive. Arrow slits in the tower are a reminder of its once-strategic importance along the water.
A large, circular dry-stone building can be seen behind us. It lost its roof long ago.
Cahergall Stone Fort
Stone forts like Cahergall are found mainly in the west of Ireland. Convenient, terraced steps built into the inside walls give access to the top.
Inside Leacanabuile are the remains of a square house attached to an older round house that conceals the entrance to an underground passage.
Leacanabuile Stone Fort
Leacanabuile Fort has uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside. The entrance is on the eastern wall, away from the prevailing wind.
Valentia Island Grotto
Statues of Our Lady and Bernadette look down from the grotto high up in the rock and watch over the yearly community masses that are held here.
valentia island lighthouse
The Valentia Island Lighthouse dates to 1841 and is open for tours.
Valentia Island Quarry
An old 19th century chimney looms out of the mist at the Valentia Island Quarry.
Farm animals like pigs, goats, and this noisy chicken abound.
Bunratty Banquet Hall
In the evenings, visitors to the banquet hall can sip their mead while being entertained by musicians and actors in period costumes.
Many of the little rooms in Bunratty were bedrooms for important people.
Bunratty Castle stairs
Imagine getting a puffy Elizabethan dress or suit of armor up these stairs. No thank you.
Buratty Castle Greathall
Each of the three floors has a single great hall, some with elaborate ceilings and carvings.
Mouy at Bunratty
Bunratty Folk Village
Inside the cottages, fires burn in the hearths, tables are set for dinner, and a fiddler may be warming up for a night of music.
Bunratty Village Street
The Bunratty Village Street has urban buildings from the time period like a doctor's house, post office, candy shop, grocery, and pawnbroker.
Bunratty Fairy House
Bunratty Fairy Village
The newest addition is a fairy village with the ultimate in tiny houses for the wee-folk.
Bunratty House is a Georgian manor sitting directly opposite the castle, occupied by the minor gentry from 1804 onward.
Nearby is a lovely, overflowing walled garden.
Bunratty Garden Walk
Wooded paths connect the 30 or so buildings that include a blacksmith's forge, school house, church, weaver's shed, and two corn mills.
Durty Nelly was the original toll-taker on the bridge over the nearby river Owengarney. Legend has it she would accept a bit of "comfort" from the passing gents as payment.
Athassel Priory entrance
We became accustomed to "entrances" like these at the various ruins in Ireland.
Many doorways are filled in with bricks and alterations continued for 300 years until the priory was dissolved around 1540.
We parked in one of Cashel's public parking lots and made the short walk to the Rock and then Hore Abbey.
Approaching Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel has loomed over its namesake town since the 12th century, although some type of stronghold stood here during the 800 years prior.
Graveyard at Rock of Cashel
Hore Abbey approach
A paved pathway connects the Rock to the field surrounding Hore Abbey.
Hore Abbey Cloister
This square walkway known as the cloister enclosed a garden. Though the stones are mostly gone, its occupants once gazed upon the Rock through arched windows.
Hore Abbey from Cashel
There are a number of 15th century additions to the abbey, including the square, central tower in the church.
Hore Abbey looming
A paved pathway leads from the Rock to the field surrounding Hore Abbey. You have to climb over a stone wall to get any closer.
Rock of Cashel Cross
A replica of St. Patrick's High Cross rests on the plinth in the foreground. The original is on display nearby in the visitor center.
Rock of Cashel from Hore Abbey
Even without its top, the large vertical base of Scully's Cross is visible just to the left of the cathedral. The rest of it lies in pieces at the bottom after being struck by lightning in 1976.
Rock of Cashel graveyard
Many of the old, top-heavy Celtic crosses have become the victims of gravity over the centuries.
Rock of Cashel round tower
Athassel Priory archways
Gravestones dot the grounds and can be seen behind us. The priory is the burial site of both the 1st and 2nd Earls of Ulster from the 13th and 14th centuries.
Athassel Priory cows
I think we woke up this little cow and its friend who were hanging out in the doorway.
Rock of Cashel Grinstead
Cormacs Chapel at Rock of Cashel
The light-colored Cormac's Chapel is tucked up against the remains of the cathedral.
Round Tower at Rock of Cashel
The Round Tower's main doorway is noticeably high at 10 feet off the ground, probably originally level with a smaller church that no longer exists.
Interior of Rock of Cashel
The vaulted tower between the transepts gives way to the now-open choir which is flanked by several medieval tombs.
Abbey Street Ennis Ireland
The town center has a mix of old and new lining its narrow streets.
Bindon Street Ennis Ireland
Bridge over River Fergus Ennis
This bridge connects Rowan Tree Hostel to the Old Town Center.
Church of the Immaculate Conception
The community of Franciscan friars moved long ago to the nearby Gothic Revival Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Dan O'Connell's Ennis Ireland
Daniel O'Connell is a popular guy around here. The 19th century politician is celebrated for winning Catholic emancipation.
Ennis Abbey Ireland
The grounds are freely accessible and include a meditation labyrinth beyond the wall that encloses the graveyard.
The well-preserved Friary contains medieval sculptures and is open to the public for a fee.
Ennis Friary Ireland
The town of Ennis developed around this old Franciscan Friary after it was founded by the O'Brien dynasty in the 1240's.
Ennis Ireland at night
The claim to fame of the Queen's Hotel (on the right) is a brief mention in the 1922 novel Ulysses by Ireland's own James Joyce.
High Street in Ennis Ireland
Closed up for the night on the High Street.
Irish Dancer in Ennis
If you're really lucky, you'll be treated to an Irish dancer along with your Guinness.
Irish musicians in Ennis
An ever-changing lineup of musicians entertains the pub crowds. Sometimes it's a fiddle and accordion; other times a wooden flute and a bouzouki. (It's a thing. Look it up.)
Knox's Pub Ennis Ireland
Knox Pub is one of many keeping Irish music alive in Ennis. Every May, the town hosts the second largest traditional music festival in the country.
O'Connell Street Ennis Ireland
As a result of his landslide election at a polling location in Ennis, Daniel O'Connell has his own street with a statue at one end.
River Fergus in Ennis Ireland
Several picturesque bridges cross the River Fergus as it runs through Ennis.
Rowan Tree Hostel and River Fergus
The hostel sits right along the water and houses an on-site restaurant. It's within walking distance of the old town, and is a clean, friendly, affordable place to stay.
Rowan Tree Hostel
If you don't mind hostel life, even as a family of three, you can't go wrong with Rowan Tree Hostel. We took advantage of the free breakfasts and the laundry room.
Rowan Tree interior
This is a private family room with four beds and an en suite bathroom.
Saint Columba's Church Ennis Ireland
So many churches in Ireland... this Anglican St. Columba's Church is a late 19th century example of Gothic revival architecture.
Subway in Ennis
While his parents refused to eat in an American chain restaurant in Ireland, our teenage son was delighted to discover that Subway's menu is, apparently, the same no matter where you go.
The Centurial Sphere in Ennis
On the Club Bridge, the steel Centurial Sphere shines from within, commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising.
Tony Honan's Antiques Ennis Ireland
Ennis became a thriving market town in the late 18th century because it never had town walls to impede commerce. We especially liked this overstuffed antique store.
Cliffs of Moher Pathways
A path runs in both directions along the edge of the cliffs.
Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center
Follow the curved walls and you'll "pass through" the ocean on the way to the exhibit floor.
Cliffs of Moher
Bands of shale, siltstone, and sandstone make up the Cliffs of Moher, formed over 300 million years ago.
Deaths at Cliffs of Moher
Stone barriers keep people from getting too close to the edge, even though some do.
Doolin Pier Tower
Leaving the pier, we stopped for a shot of Doonagore Castle, a tower house overlooking Doolin Point.
Grinsteads at Cliffs of Moher
Jumping rock in Murrooghtoohy
We never made it to the water, but had a lot of fun climbing on the rocks.
The grounds, as well as the interior of Killinaboy church, are filled with graves ranging from very old to fairly modern.
Lunch at the Soda Parlour
You can't get much better than a banana and chocolate crepe.
Lunch in Ballyvaughan
Movie at Caherconnell Fort
It's a long way from the parking area down to the ocean.
O'Briens Tower at Cliffs of Moher
Climb the steps to the right and you'll end up at the lookout at O'Brien's Tower, built in 1835.
Overlooking Caherconnell Stone Fort
A self-guiding booklet helps makes sense of the marked locations in the enclosed farmstead.
Stacked on a grassy knoll, the three stones once sheltered a chamber containing the human remains of more than 20 adults and children.
Rocks around Poulnabrone Tomb
Three-quarters of Ireland's flower species can be found in the Burren, and many are visible in the "grikes" between the rocks.
Shops at Cliffs of Moher
A wide plaza connects the cliff path to the eco-friendly Atlantic Edge Visitor Center and nearby shops that are embedded in the hillside like Hobbit holes.
Sign to Poulnabrone
Tower at Cliffs of Moher
Wedding in Doolin
This wedding party was using the castle as a backdrop for photos when the driver of this tractor got out to take his own picture with the bride.
The signs in Ireland get right to the point, like this one at Ballyvaughan pier.
Beach at Black Head
Black Head Ireland
A huge escarpment of limestone separates the road from the water at Murrooghtoohy.
Burren Way at Cliffs of Moher
A pathway at the top of this cliff face marks the Burren Way, a long-distance trail that connects the towns of Lahinch and Doolin, by way of the Cliffs of Moher.
Caherconnell is almost a perfect circle, made of drystone walls about 10 feet high and wide, and extending 138 feet across.
Caherconnell Stone Fort
Artifacts are plentiful and include items of stone, bone, antler, glass, even bronze and gold.
Birds at Cliffs of Moher
The cliffs offer a top-down view of Goat Island, which had no goats as far as we could tell. It did have a lot of birds, which were probably Razorbills and maybe a few Atlantic puffins.
Goat Island Cliffs of Moher
Goat Island appears to have no goats, but it does offer a nesting location for Atlantic puffins during the spring breeding season.