County Clare

Upon leaving the Aran Islands, we came ashore in County Clare, in Ireland's mid-west region. We spent much of our time in The Burren (Boireann, meaning "great rock"), a karst landscape covering about 97 square miles and full of interesting geology, flora, and history. A main highlight was our sunset visit to the Poulnabrone dolmen (Poll na mBrón in Irish, meaning "hole of the quern stones"), a Neolithic portal tomb dating to between 4200 BCE and 2900 BCE. We were also lucky enough to be in Clare for the All-Ireland Hurling finals match. Hurling is a sport of Gaelic origins that, to an outsider's view, seems a bit like a crossover between field hockey, lacrosse, and quidditch. Although the game was new to us Americans, we enjoyed watching the game with some Clare locals, especially since this was the first time Clare had made it to the finals since 1997. Finally, we made the requisite trip to the Cliffs of Moher (Aillte an Mhothair), an impressive landscape even under grey Irish skies. Below is a selection of photographs from County Clare.