World Cities Tour 2014 Summer Edition - Day 23

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Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Doolin
July 9th 2014
Published: July 10th 2014
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Tony is so very glad Michelle is learning to play hearts. She is practicing by trouncing the computer.
Day 23 - Aran Islands - A trip back in time

We started the morning with a good breakfast and some laundry before heading to the west coast and the ferry to the Aran Islands. Anne really wanted to see the islands and the nearby Cliffs of Moher, the home of millions of nesting seabirds. The Aran Islands are 3 islands off the west coast of Ireland near Doolin. The largest only has a population of 900 people. Ferries regularly travel between the islands and the mainland but the 30 min crossing can be quite rough. Today was a "mild" day but still provided a bit of chop and rocking. The ferries were nothing like the ferries across the SF Bay, being much smaller. Michelle and Tony enjoyed standing in the bow watching the waves and jellyfish that floated under the ferry. There was a bit of debate as to what a group of jellyfish is called. Anne firmly believes it should be a "jar" of jellyfish. Michelle was excited to see jellyfish that were not bred in captivity. Once on the island we found a pub to eat at and then caught a ride in a pony cart up
Ready to DepartReady to DepartReady to Depart

All smiles and hoodless before we start. Pretty soon, it was glasses off, hoods tight as the wind made a thrilling entrance.
to the ridge to see the ruins of a 15th century and an 18th century castle. The view of the island was awesome. A quick bu scenic walk down from the ridge (where Anne may have gotten slightly carried away with taking scenic pictures) and we made it to a beautiful white sand beach. Michelle really wanted to check out the rocks at one end but on our way we saw a crowd at the edge of the water. They were watching the local dolphin that often comes to watch the tourists. The dolphin would come right up to the shallows and swim by people in the water. After our beach time we climbed back aboard the ferry to head out to the Cliffs of Moher. The sheer cliffs are over 600 ft high and home to all types of seabirds including puffins. The ride out the the cliffs was a bit rougher than the ride to the island as the rain and mist started to creep in. We all climbed to the top of the ferry to ride out the waves. It felt like we were on a roller coaster. The cliffs were incredible and Anne took many great
Look!  JellyfishLook!  JellyfishLook! Jellyfish

Tons of Jellyfish.... what is the grouping called? Anne thinks it should be "Jar".
pictures though many times Tony was afraid she would drop her phone. Once we returned to shore we were all windblown and slightly damp. We headed home and tried to eat all the leftovers before packing up for our flight back to the UK tomorrow.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Irish PubIrish Pub
Irish Pub

A very authentic Irish Pub (tourist version). Good seafood chowder which looked the same as the vegetable soup (both tasted great, and different from each other).
The horse's #@#The horse's #@#
The horse's #@#

We took a horse drawn carriage ride UP the hill so we could make it back in time.
That last bit is a doozyThat last bit is a doozy
That last bit is a doozy

Anne trekking the last walk up to the castle. It was a bit steep. We are very glad we took the carriage most of the way.
Look, a Ruin!  Let's explore!Look, a Ruin!  Let's explore!
Look, a Ruin! Let's explore!

Tony and Michelle spent very little time pondering whether to go into the ruined castle.

Michelle perhaps explored a bit too much, and ended up in the slammer.
Rocky RuralRocky Rural
Rocky Rural

Without Trees and metal, the inhabitants looked around for what they could use to build fences... anyone want to hazard a guess?

Discovered by accident, here lies proof that these islands were inhabited as early as 1500 BC.
Resident DolphinResident Dolphin
Resident Dolphin

He swam to within 10 feet of the water's edge (about 3 feet deep). People pet him, but sometimes he gets a bit frisky and plays too rough... Be careful.
Footsteps in the SandFootsteps in the Sand
Footsteps in the Sand

Mom and Daughter walking on the beach. Any Beach, Anywhere... just don't stop. (the dog with us was obsessive about rocks).
Look, rocks to climb onLook, rocks to climb on
Look, rocks to climb on

Michelle was eager to climb all over the rocks.. there were tide pools, but not really much in the way of wildlife here.
Are you sure this is not the tropics?Are you sure this is not the tropics?
Are you sure this is not the tropics?

On a sunny warmish day, you might just swear you were in tahiti. The water was clear, blue.. you could see meters underwater.
Back OnboardBack Onboard
Back Onboard

Hamster is happy to be back on the ship. Is he smiling? Perhaps he is a bit green after all.
Top of the ShipTop of the Ship
Top of the Ship

They closed the bow as we headed into the wind (water was sweeping across the deck on each of the numerous big waves. So we headed to the top.. you know.. for that extra swaying action.
Fairy LandFairy Land
Fairy Land

Just one of the epic beautiful images that make Ireland such a magical place.
Extereme Close upExtereme Close up
Extereme Close up

Ok, so not even that close, and there are a lot of birds. At first, we thought there were more, but no.. it turned out that some of the white we saw form a distance was something else entirely.
Family Photo at the Cliffs of MoherFamily Photo at the Cliffs of Moher
Family Photo at the Cliffs of Moher

Hamster decided he was part of the family today.

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