DAY 4 ULTIMATE VACATIONS IN IRELAND
Shannon Ferry / Irish beach / Cliffs of Moher / Driving the scenic Wild Atlantic Way / Galway
Goodbye Killarney, you've been wonderful. But hello sunshine. What a brilliant sunny day this would prove to be, from beginning to end. Soon after departing Killarney we passed a lovely old church with a tall steeple extending high into the sky accentuating today's glorious blue sky. Soon after we stopped in a regional grocery chain for deli items, drinks and snacks.
Next stop was the Shannon Ferry. Actually it wasn't a stop - the ferry was ready to close and we barely made it. So on to the Shannon Breeze Ferry we went from Tarbert to Killimer, a relatively short distance but enjoyable. The ferry saved a good amount of time compared to the landlocked highways miles away.
Our first stop was Lahinch Beach. This was an interesting experience from an American, born and raised in Florida perspective. From the parking lot several surfboard and wet suit mobile trucks are raking in the cash. The beach is obviously prone to high tide fluctuation. A high seawall protects the parking lot while piles of boulders protect the seawall. The waterlogged beach extends for probably a hundred yard before you reach the Liscannor Bay.
Kids, like Cameron played with buckets and shovels on the wet beach while others sunbathed on the boulders. However the big attraction was surfing in wetsuits. Make no mistake, the air and the water were both quite cool.
Behind the beach a nice touristy area occupied visitors with an array of shops and even a well equipped kids play area, which Cameron loved. And behind that a rolling hills golf course.
That was a pleasant diversion, now it's off to today's main attraction (and one of the trips) - Cliffs of Moher, Ireland's most visited natural attraction. The Cliffs reach a height of 720 feet at their highest point and range five miles along the Atlantic Ocean creating magical vistas along the way. And lucky for us this is a glorious sunny day.
We walked from one end of the paved path to the end. Along the way we paid a separate admission to climb the spiral staircase inside narrow O'Brien's Tower. Originally built in 1835, the view from atop the tower is astounding. It is said on a clear day you can view 5 counties. Well worth it.
We will stop at inadequately attempting to do justice to the Cliffs of Moher with our words. We do encourage you to view our photos and plan a trip here. There is a eco-friendly large visitors center with an exhibition area, 2 short movies to watch, cafe, photos, merchandise and free Wi-Fi. Cliffs of Moher will definitely be a highlight of any journey to Ireland. It was for us. It should be hard to top the Ring of Kerry, but the Cliffs of Moher did (only if we had to pick).
Driving north along the coast known as The Wild Atlantic Way we arrived in Galway and spent the night at the Menlo Park Hotel. Normally none of us are fans of hotel restaurants. But Menlo Park seemed to have a pretty hopping bar and the good size restaurants seemed popular. Turned out to be a good decision. Excellent dinner with some more Hop House Lagers. Check the Fish & Chips photo out from here.
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