We left Galway today and drove to Killarnny. On the way we made a brief stop at Dunguaire Castle a 16th-century tower house whose name derives from the Dun of King Guaire, the legendary king of Connacht. We also drove through Lisdoonvarna, the site of the Matchmaking Festival – Europe’s largest singles festival. It is a 6 week festival where people come together to find matches. The history of this festival is as follows – Families in this area required that the oldest son stay in the family home until the parents die. He was not allowed to marry until that time. So you had a lot of 50 – 60 year old men who needed young wives to marry (so they could have children). There was a matchmaking festival every year after the harvest that lasted for a week. It worked so well, that it has continued to expand into what it is today with people coming from all over the world to find love.
It is cool driving through so many Irish towns and cities. They are all very clean, well kept and very cute. It also gives Don a chance to take a lot of pictures. The 4th pictures shows a roof that is in the process of being thatched (we are a bit fascinated by the thatched roofs).
Our main stop was at The Cliffs of Moher which are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They are seven miles long and rise 390 feet (at one end) to 702 feet (on the other end) above the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, you can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in County Galway. When we got there today, we could barely see 100 feet in front of the bus. The good news is that while we were shopping in the visitor center, some of the fog went away so we were able to see a bit of the cliffs.
We took a brief ferry ride (that is our grey bus) to Killarney (where we will be for the next three days). We had dinner at a local family’s house. It was very interesting to hear about their life. They have a 14 year old son and a 10 year old daughter who play the concertina and harp, respectively. They played for us after dinner. Both are quite talented and have won awards, so it was very enjoyable.