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Heading for the Cliffs and Jaunting to Muckross House

Bus, Ferry and Cart

sunny
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2007 The Sparkling Emerald Isle & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

June 3
I had a 6 am wakeup call because we had to have our bags out by 6:50.
B5B50D45C3F5599D87210EE390B8ECD5.jpgx100_6214.jpg
Had a nice breakfast (scrambled eggs - although my grandson wants catsup and they give him something that is more like steak sauce although it is red),
My grandson at breakfast

My grandson at breakfast


and got loaded into the bus. He is sitting with a little boy named Ryan who is 9. His sister Victoria is 10. It is unfortunate that there are no teenagers on this tour-that was the biggest flaw in this trip. The next oldest people are a tattooed couple that my grandson characterized as 'scary'

I did not rent a car in Ireland (or England) because I did not trust myself to drive on the wrong side of the street in a strange place with only my grandson to read the map and direct me. I wanted to take photos, and I would have had to find a place to stop to do that. Normally when I am with my husband, he drives and I take pictures. Stopping to take pictures adds quite a bit to the time of the journey.

Instead, I took a tour. We were in a bus, which gave us a view over the hedgerows and cars. The problems for us were that the scenery was going by so fast that it was sometimes blurred, and we had to deal with the reflections in the windows. Most of the time I sat in the back seat so I could take photos out the back window of some of the roads and the vehicles on them.

Our guide gave us some cock and bull story about droit de seignor and a rude local name for this monument that he wouldn't repeat because of the children.
Cornelius O'Brien of Birchfield Monument with a rude nickname

Cornelius O'Brien of Birchfield Monument with a rude nickname


But I find on looking it up that the stories are not true, as so much that guides tell you is fact mixed with fiction. Cornelius O'Brien (1782–1857) was an Irish politician, Member of Parliament and landowner in County Clare.The O'Brien Monument, a Doric column topped by an urn, was built during his lifetime, paid for by compulsory subscriptions of his tenants

He built a tower, now referred to as O'Brien's Tower on the Cliffs of Moher in 1835 as an observation tower for the hundreds of tourists.. O'Brien also built St. Brigid's National School (1846) and a wall of Moher flagstones along the Cliffs. It is said in the locality that he "built everything around here except the Cliffs". He died in 1857
Photo of Cliffs of Moher Hotel from the bus

Photo of Cliffs of Moher Hotel from the bus


Anyway, we went first to see the Cliffs of Moher, which are among the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. The visitor's center had a projection on the floor of the entrance which looked like waves coming in to the shore. I tried to take a picture of it.
919883653540639-Surf_project..unty_Clare.jpgSurf projected on the walkway

Surf projected on the walkway


The new visitor's center (The Atlantic Edge Center) which cost €22 million to build is nestled into the hillside (mostly underground) and has a restaurant, exhibits in four areas OCEAN, ROCK, NATURE and MAN.
photo of a ring fort-MAN

photo of a ring fort-MAN


and a movie about the area.
Wide photo of the cliffs

Wide photo of the cliffs


It was officially opened in Feb 2007 by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. In 1993 Reddy O'Riordan Staehli Architects won an international architectural design competition to replace the existing visitor and interpretative centre at the Cliffs of Moher...
Part of the exhibits

Part of the exhibits


Looking up through the roof

Looking up through the roof


To minimise the visual impact.., the design strategy proposed an underground building on the site of the existing facility. .. the original, much smaller, centre .. was demolished..
Tide information

Tide information


579796053540664-Signboard_on..unty_Clare.jpgRestaurant Signboard outside visitor's center

Restaurant Signboard outside visitor's center


(I didn't get a chance to buy any snacks here because I was too busy taking pictures.),
3540951-Telephoto_view_County_Clare.jpg3540935-More_of_Moher_County_Clare.jpg
We were here on a nice clear day in early June and were able to observe both the cliffs, which are some 400-700 feet above the Atlantic, but also the Aran Islands and Galway Bay.
Aran Islands and Galway Bay

Aran Islands and Galway Bay


Lighthouses are one of my favorite things, and I was able to photograph one when I was at the Cliffs of Moher. I believe that this one was
Inisheer lighthouse

Inisheer lighthouse


which is actually one of the Aran Islands Lighthouses. The Aran Islands, located in the mouth of Galway Bay. This lighthouse was built originally in 1857 and is active. A red light is shown over rocks to the east. It consists of a 112 ft round white masonry tower with lantern and gallery, with a single broad horizontal black band. There are two keeper's houses enclosed by a stone wall. Inisheer is accessible by passenger ferry from Doolin, and the lighthouse is accessible by hiking trail. Located on the southeastern point of the island. We also saw some towers along the edges of the cliffs.
3540949-Cliffs_to_the_north_County_Clare.jpgSentinel Tower on a cliff

Sentinel Tower on a cliff

3540906-Cliff_Walking_Liscannor.jpgConstruction cones at the base of the tower

Construction cones at the base of the tower


After we visited Visitor's Center, my grandson went up towards O'Brien's Tower (which I don't think was open),
viewing area up at the tower

viewing area up at the tower

Tower on the top of one of the cliffs

Tower on the top of one of the cliffs

Coastline along the cliffs south to Hags Head

Coastline along the cliffs south to Hags Head


Picture from my side to the side my grandson went

Picture from my side to the side my grandson went


but I asked one of the rangers where I could best see the Atlantic Puffins and he indicated that I should walk the other direction so that was what I did.
3540876-more_Cliffs_of_Moher_Doolin.jpgCliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher


large_3540654-Cliffs_County_Clare.jpg
Cliff Walking

Cliff Walking


large_3540890-Cliff_Walking_Liscannor.jpglarge_3540889-Cliff_Walking_Liscannor.jpg
Surf at the foot of the cliffs

Surf at the foot of the cliffs


The puffins live in large colonies at isolated parts of the cliffs and on the small Goat Island. Also present are hawks, gulls, guillemots, shags, ravens and choughs. If you look at the cliffs and see white edges, that's probably the bird guano and if you use your binoculars there, you will see the birds nesting there.
Birds nesting

Birds nesting


Birds nesting on the cliffs

Birds nesting on the cliffs


There was a talking telescope where I was attempting to take photos of the puffins.
Talking telescope

Talking telescope


Some people came by and put money in (I didn't have any coins with me) and let me look through it at the puffins. I found that my photographs were about the same magnification as the telescope.
Puffins nesting

Puffins nesting

Puffins nesting on Goat Island

Puffins nesting on Goat Island


You would think that these nesting sites would be safe from anything except another bird, but apparently people climb down the cliffs to collect eggs as there are warning signs that prohibit that.
No egg collection sign

No egg collection sign


There is a sign in Gaelic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish which says:
"The Cliffs of Moher are a protected and fragile habitat and the cliff edges are constantly eroding.
For your own safety and for the sake of the environment DO NOT climb over the walls onto the cliff edge."

Warning sign in seven languages

Warning sign in seven languages

Slabs of stone with fossils used for walls

Slabs of stone with fossils used for walls

The week before the new visitor's center opened in February 2007 two deaths highlighted how dangerous the Cliffs of Moher are. Though the fatalities apparently were not due to an accident but are treated by Gardai as a murder-suicide.
43322643540656-Land_view_fr..unty_Clare.jpgPhoto of a nearby town

Photo of a nearby town


Birds flying over the ocean

Birds flying over the ocean

Boat below

Boat below


285789943540801-Private_Prop..unty_Clare.jpgPrivate Property along path up to cliff top

Private Property along path up to cliff top


I was worried about whether my grandson would get so caught up in photography that he would forget to get back to the bus,
407657473540800-Signs_saying..unty_Clare.jpgGrandson coming back down the path

Grandson coming back down the path


but he did come back in time. We got back on the bus
Our bus waiting for us

Our bus waiting for us


My grandson thinks the buses look like big caterpillars with the antenna on the front.
The bus antennas

The bus antennas


We drove from the Cliffs past some modern windmills
Windmills

Windmills


through the town of Kilrush,
Listed Heritage Town

Listed Heritage Town


which has a popular eighteen hole golf course, a marina with access to the Shannon Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean,
Boatyard

Boatyard


plus an impressive walled garden on the grounds of the old Vandeleur estate (landlords of Kilrush up to the end of the 19th century). Kilrush also hosts a traditional Irish music festival in August of each year - Eigse Mrs. Crotty festival, so named after a famed concertina player from the town.
Manchester Martyrs

Manchester Martyrs


There is also a statue in the center of the square to the 'Manchester Martyrs', also known as 'The Three Fenians', who were Irish nationalists who were executed for the murder of a policeman during a prison break. William O'Mara Allen, Michael Larkin, and William Goold (aka O'Brien) were hanged in Manchester, England on November 23, 1867. These men were caught and convicted for their rescue of Colonel Thomas J. Kelly and Captain Timothy Deasy. The rescue took place on the borders of West Gorton and Ardwick, to the immediate south east of Manchester City Centre. (Apparently these guys who attacked a van that was transporting some Irish nationalists from one prison to another had to bad luck to kill a policeman when they fired at the lock on the van at the exact moment that the policeman was looking out the keyhole to see what was going on).
Manchester Martyrs

Manchester Martyrs


At Killimer, we took the ferry across the Shannon River.
3542414-Shannon_River_Ferry_Town_Killimer.jpgThe Shannon River near Killimer

The Shannon River near Killimer

Ferry approaching

Ferry approaching


We were able to get out of the bus on the ferry. I think the lighthouse in the picture that we could see looking up the river may be Scattery Island Light which was built in 1872.
Looking up the river

Looking up the river


It is a 41 ft round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. There is a 1-story keeper's house nearby appears abandoned. The Fresnel lens, removed when the lighthouse was converted to solar power in 2002, is on display at the Scattery Island Centre in Kilrush. Scattery Island, site of a sixth century monastery, is now a nature reserve; tours of the island are available from Kilrush. The lighthouse is located on the south side of the island in the Shannon estuary about 5 miles southwest of Kilrush. We were able to get out of the bus on the ferry and I got some good lighthouse pictures.
My grandson on the other side of the ferry

My grandson on the other side of the ferry


First view from the other shore

First view from the other shore

Ferry approaches Tarbert

Ferry approaches Tarbert


We saw Tarbert lighthouse from many angles when we took the ferry across the Shannon Estuary. It is on the south (County Kerry) side of the estuary just north of Tarbert. This is the Tarbert Light (built in 1834) which is a harbour light to guide vessels passing up or down the Shannon estuary, it helps to clear the Bowline Rock and also guides vessels into the Tarbert Roads anchorage.We saw this lighthouse from many angles when we took the ferry across the Shannon Estuary. It is on the south (County Kerry) side of the estuary just north of Tarbert. Built in 1834, the Tarbert Light is an active lighthouse.
The Light at the Ferry

The Light at the Ferry


There is a cast iron bridge, built about 1840, connects the tower to shore, which we saw when we passed it. The lighthouse is a round limestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, with a white light. A red light shows to the west over Bowline Rock. The keepers house has apparently been demolished. It was formally transferred to the Limerick Harbour Commissioners in 1981, but CIL has a buoy depot nearby so it is convenient for the same attendant to manage both facilities The lighthouse is built on a tidal rock off the north side of Tarbert Island.
3543928-Approaching_Tarbert.jpgApproaching Tarbert Light

Approaching Tarbert Light


It is a 74 ft round limestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A spidery cast iron bridge, built about 1840, connects the tower to shore. Keeper's house has apparently been demolished. The lighthouse is now dwarfed by the huge smokestacks of an electric power generating plant built immediately behind it. There are good views from the ferry.
Lighthouse

Lighthouse

large_83101573542478-Another_view..se_Kilrush.jpg963385763545201-Another_view..om_Tarbert.jpgFerry control room

Ferry control room

Lighthouse close-up from the ferry

Lighthouse close-up from the ferry

Streets in town

Streets in town

Grandson taking a photo of the town square

Grandson taking a photo of the town square

3545276-across_the_street_Tarbert.jpgOur bus out front of the hotel

Our bus out front of the hotel


The bus drove off the ferry dock which was around back of the Tarbert Power Station. We went to the Kirby's Lanterns Hotel for lunch.

Of significant interest to naval people is the story of this area: (from the website of the hotel)
Lobby

Lobby


John Paul Jones was an American naval hero who preyed on British shipping during the Revolutionary War, he had a reputation as a resourceful and successful raider. So notorious did he become that he was known to the British as "The Yankee Pirate". In 1776, after sinking a ship in Carlingford Lough he was pursued by two British gun boats. Weather conditions were very bad and he was forced to take shelter in the Shannon Estuary - in Tarbert Bay. The gunboats anchored outside the bay and kept watch through the night. They intended to capture John Paul Jones at dawn. The ever resourceful John Paul Jones sent his men ashore with instructions to hang the ships lanterns high in nearby woods. The marines assumed that the lighted lanterns were those of the anchored "Providence".

The daring colourful hero, John Paul Jones sailed out of Tarbert Bay under cover of darkness past the waiting gunboats. It was not until dawn that the marines realised that once again they had been out-maneuvered by John Paul Jones. Kirby's Lanterns Hotel overlooks the very bay that Jones escaped from.
3545275-Named_for_JP_Jones_Lantern_Tarbert.jpgNamed for JP Jones' Lantern

Named for JP Jones' Lantern


We ate in the John Paul Jones bar which had seating in excess of one hundred people. Which was good because I think there were two coach-loads there. Like many of the lunch stops, it was set up like a cafeteria,
Menu

Menu


but in this case, you ordered and paid and then went and sat down, and they brought you your food. The servers were a bit cranky with the children and my grandson, even though he was perfectly polite to them.
Counter

Counter


Children's chicken nuggets and "chips" £4.50

Children's chicken nuggets and "chips" £4.50


Seafood chowder (or cream soup of the day)

Seafood chowder (or cream soup of the day)


Dessert selection from £3.95

Dessert selection from £3.95


Afterwards we went out to the bus to continue our journey.
Across from the restaurant in Tarbert

Across from the restaurant in Tarbert

Statue in the garden across from the hotel

Statue in the garden across from the hotel


I took some pictures while I waited.
Crossing a river

Crossing a river


We passed churches and graveyards,
Graveyard with Celtic crosses

Graveyard with Celtic crosses


which had a large number of Celtic crosses in them. I guess I should not have been surprised by that.
Police Station

Police Station


We passed the police station, which was painted blue, and we went through several little towns. And
Roundabout

Roundabout


around the roundabouts on our way to our hotel in Killarney where we had a ride in a jaunting car to Muckross House.
Horse and cart waiting in the shade

Horse and cart waiting in the shade

Cart in Killarney waiting for a customer

Cart in Killarney waiting for a customer


Everyone calls them jaunting carTs, but apparently the traditional name is CAR without the T and the original cars only had two wheels. The ones we went on were four wheeled, which I suspect is so that they can take more than two passengers. We had 8 people in ours.
Assigning people to carts

Assigning people to carts


And also it is much less 'tilty' So maybe these vehicles are carts and not cars.

They took pictures of us first, and I took a photo of the photographer at the same time.
Photographer

Photographer


So our picture shows me taking a picture of the guy taking the picture.
Photo of the photo the photographer took

Photo of the photo the photographer took

The drivers are known as Jarveys. First we went through town on the regular streets,
3549852-Horse_and_Cart_following_us_Killarney.jpgHorse and Cart following us on the street

Horse and Cart following us on the street

3550298-Building_from_jaunting_cart_Killarney.jpgKillarney from a Horse Drawn Cart

Killarney from a Horse Drawn Cart

Methodist church

Methodist church

Kids in the front of the cart

Kids in the front of the cart

84478533550277-Killarney_fr.._Killarney.jpg
and then we were on a narrow road (paved)
Jaunting cart that was behind us

Jaunting cart that was behind us


which went through an area of Killarney National Park
707120143550283-Killarney_fr.._Killarney.jpg147143343550279-Killarney_fr.._Killarney.jpg197893693550281-Killarney_fr.._Killarney.jpg33339573550280-Killarney_fr.._Killarney.jpg

including by some
Lakes

Lakes


to Muckross House.
Muckross house from the back of a jaunting cart

Muckross house from the back of a jaunting cart


Horse

Horse

Muckross house Cart Depot

Muckross house Cart Depot


My grandson had me take a picture of him with Muckross House apparently on the palm of his hand.
My grandson 'holding' Muckross House

My grandson 'holding' Muckross House


He was impressed with it, and I think he expected Buckingham Palace to be similar.
Back of the house

Back of the house

Rock Garden

Rock Garden

Plants growing on a wall at Muckross House

Plants growing on a wall at Muckross House

Side view

Side view


I decided not to go because they don't allow photos to be taken inside and while the house is furnished "in period style" that usually means that the furnishings are not original to the house. Also I do not do well where I have to stand and listen to a guide talk. They assured us that there would be places to sit, but others who took the tour (which would take about 45 minutes) said that the only place to sit was right at the beginning. My grandson said that they talked about when the Queen (Victoria I think) came to stay here for a couple of days.We didn't pay for our admission - Matt our guide got the tickets for us. We probably got a group rate.

I decided to walk around to the gift shop
3568324-Muckross_House_Killarney.jpgLooking down into the shop

Looking down into the shop


which also included the Garden Restaurant.
The Conservatory Area

The Conservatory Area

The Garden restaurant

The Garden restaurant


Adjoining the main shop were Craft Workshops, where customers can see Mucros Pottery, Mucros Weaving and Mucros Bookbindery products being made. My grandson was tempted by some of the woven materials, but they are - of course - somewhat expensive for a young teen. As well as these products, the shop stocks an extensive collection of outdoor clothing and accessories. Contemporary and traditional knitwear by Carrig Donn, Clare Kennedy and Fisherman out of Ireland is also available, as is a selection of children's clothing. I bought some post cards (For instance, I bought a post card of a puffin, which we saw nesting at the Cliffs of Moher.), and then went back to the bus and sat on my cane to wait.

Front of the hotel

Front of the hotel


We stayed at the Great Southern Hotel which has changed its name to the Marlton Hotel. We stayed here for two nights. This is a very large hotel. They had an extensive business/convention center area.

There was good and bad.
The good - they had a nice pool (although they made people wear bathing caps, and there were unpublished restricted hours for children). It was the only hotel that we stayed in on the tour with a pool. My grandson used the pool.
Grandson in the pool

Grandson in the pool


The bad - Their internet service is crap. It is only in the lobby, and you have to pay for it. Not only do you have to pay for it, but you pay for each time regardless of whether you use your minutes up. Also it is extremely slow. It was the worst internet of anyplace that we stayed
Lobby floor

Lobby floor


Hotel chandelier

Hotel chandelier


Back at the hotel - my feet have gotten so that I can use shoes.
View from the window

View from the window


Bathroom

Bathroom


My grandson says he is eating healthier than he ever has before.

I took 272 photos today and my grandson took 90 with his digital camera.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:32 Archived in Ireland

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