Sunday, September 28, 2014

Éire vol2 day four

July 18th. Day of the Aran Islands. Well, we visited Inis Mór (Inishmore) not all of them but still.
Breakfast was a bit lacking even though I normally do not eat that much for breakfast in the first place. As it was a tad rainy, we drove to the port. My friend had already booked and paid for the Doolin2Aran ferry ride to Inis Mór so we only had to get on board. On our way to Inis Mór we got to see cliffs of Moher, but we also stopped in Inis Meáin (Inisheer) and Inis Oírr (Inishmaan). Which led my friend to worry that we had taken a wrong ship. But we arrived to Inis Mór safe and sound. She had also booked us a tour of the island so we had to find our guide for the day and our tour of the island could begin.
Inis Mór

Inis Mór is the biggest of the three Aran Islands. When visiting Ireland and have a day to spare, then definitely worth visiting. We took a guided tour but it was also possible to rent a bike or walk. Though walking would not give so much time to see around.

As we were first on the small bus, we got the first row seats which was nice. Our guide (whose name unfortunately I cannot remember) was wonderful. He was very informed, knew how to communicate with people, was funny and helpful. We were taken across the stony island. When Burren (and the west coast) was stony, Inis Mór was even more so. Limestone is a part of the landscape. Low stone walls and limestone everywhere.

Dun Aengus
First, we were taken to Dun Aengus, a semicircular stone fort that rests on a cliff`s edge. The cliffs were just as impressive as the Moher. The coach couldn`t take us to the top so we were able to walk. If only I would have had more time to enjoy the surroudings. The weather was also so good.

 Back in the little village (?) next to the visitor centre we ate lunch and were on our way back to meet the coach that was waiting next to Kilmurvy Beach.
Na Seacht dTempaill

Then we were taken to Na Seacht dTempaill (seven churches) near the village Eoghnacht. There are actually two churches still standing despite the name.  In the Middle Ages Na Seacht Teampaill was probably the most important pilgrimage destination on Inis Mor.

 Driving back we took a tiny break somewhere by the coast but I cannot remember the name where.
Then there were the seals. And that concluded our tour of the island. Would have liked to have more time. Most of the people from our tiny group were taking another boat so they had an hour to spend in Kilronan but our boat was to set off so we did not.

Moher walking trail
Cliffs of Moher
Back in Doolin I had some time to take a short walk on the Moher coastal trail. As the kitchen was closed at nine and I wanted to have dinner I had two hours. Got a lovely view of Doolin reaching the beginning of the trail. The sun was still shining so the walk was simply breathtaking. I move fast otherwise I never would have made it that far. I saw some people on the way.  One of the things I miss about Ireland is saying "Hello" to strangers. Anyway, the trail by Moher was well marked. The beginning had cliffs but they grew more and more higher as the road went on. Every turn revealed something amazing. Finally I reached my destination and just sat there on the edge watching the cliffs with my mouth open I suppose.If only I would have had more time.

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