Sunday, September 19

The Burren

Poulanbrone Dolmen
Along with the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare is also know for any area called The Burren. The Burren is characterized by it's rocky, windswept terrain. The rocks are limestone and started their existence under the sea. Now you can see them as massive limestone pavements that produce a landscape called karst topography.
The Burren
The Burren
There are large, deep cracks in the pavements known as grikes. Grass and wildflowers grow from the grikes.
The Burren
The Burren
The Burren
In addition to the karst landscape, there are also large isolated boulders of limestone scattered randomly through out the area. These are called clints. It is really something to behold. It has a strange beauty to it, like fragile, new life after destruction.
The Burren - Detail
The time to visit The Burren is spring when the wildflowers burst from the grikes. 75% of Ireland's wildflowers can be found in The Burren as well as 28 different butterflies and moths.
poulabrone dolmen
The Burren is also home to many of Ireland's prehistoric tombs, one of the most famous being, Poulnabrone Dolmen (see top picture and above.) Poulnabrone Dolmen is a portal tomb, characterized by it's upright stones and single chamber. It was excavated in 1986, although it is thought to have been created 5000 years ago! During the excavation 33 skeletons were found along with some pottery and jewelry. Amazing. Old. Really old. Still an understatement.

Are you ready to move on to County Kerry? Well, we must cross the Shannon River first. Get your life jackets and check back soon.


likeschocolate said...

Can't wait to see the rest!

Millie said...

"Karst topography"...that brings me back to my days in school!
The Burren is just an amazing place. The man-made and natural things there are awe-inspiring in a very quiet way. Hard to explain!

Annabel, Mikko, Marcelle and Eric said...

Now you're making me dream of Ireland...Oh right, I replied to your comment, but I would also add to my list of places: Edinburgh, and Scotland in general...My grand-mother was from Scotland and I would love to see where she was from...

pam said...

Thank you for all the time and work you are putting into sharing your adventure. I am enjoying every single image. I have never heard of The Burren - what magic is there - I could explore those stones for hours and hours.

You have done a great job of capturing the feeling of the place and thanks to you at least I have had a virtual visit!

Amy said...

Fascinating! I grew up in Barren County, Kentucky, USA. Nearby is Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system in the world. Our local karst landscape is full of limestone, just like what you describe. Very cool!

Erin M. said...

I love this part of Ireland. We stayed at a fabulous Castle/ Inn... the Balinalacken which had the best meal in Ireland for us. I'm so glad you had a good time.

Jessica said...

I love all the information you are including with your photos! Did you use a guidebook? If so, which one!!!??

katy said...

Millie - Thanks for your help with my questions! I agree with you completely about the quiet natural beauty.

Marcelle - Scottland, yes. People rave about the beauty of Edinburgh.

Pam - Thank you so much for your comment. I'm very honored you read and appreciated what I wrote. Writing does not come naturally to me and I agonize over every word. I'm glad it came across coherent at the very least.

Amy - Makes you think about how small the world really is to find similarity in such seemingly different places.

Erin - I didn't know you went to Ireland! I would have picked your brain before we went. It was so beautiful!

Jessica - Glad you like the info. It is a combination of wiki pages, Lonely Planet Ireland, and brochures we got when traveling. The Lonely Planet Ireland is a well written and useful book. It is a big snobby and sarcastic at times, though.

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