We were a little slow moving on day 2 of our trip due to Kellan being sick the night before and no one getting any sleep. After a quick breakfast we set out to the burren about an hour away. The drive was gorgeous…and that’s the thing about Ireland that I really enjoyed…you see so many things from the road that make you want to stop the car and explore. Castles, ruins, scenery, and animals are just everywhere. We tried to stick to what we had planned for the day as we had a lot we wanted to get done.
I am sure there are a lot of scientific details about how the burren was formed but the basic story is the 250 square km area of land used to be under the sea 350 million years ago.Over time with glaciation the limestone and grikes have looked as they do now the past 10,000 years. It was just beautiful driving through the hills and I could have spent days exploring if only time permitted.
The main attraction in the burren is the Poulnabrone tomb. I guess it wasn’t until the 1980’s that they discovered about 20 people were buried beneath it 6,000 years ago. The findings of that excavation are in a museum which is now on my to do list if we ever get the chance to go back. I just love historical stuff like this…but the kids not so much. Kellan was severely unimpressed and wanting to take a nap. Carter just wanted to jump from rock to rock.
Next on our list was lunch so we made our way towards Doolin to this cute little cafe on the water called Stonecutter’s Kitchen. It had a playground and that’s really all I needed to know about it because playgrounds= happy kids. We went inside and ordered and then played while we waited. The food was good, thankfully. I had some seafood chowder and curry while Ben had the fish cakes. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and do not make you feel like a tourist. I tell ya, Irish women loved little Carter!
Next stop: The Cliffs of Moher! The entire reason I wanted to come to Ireland and just our luck… it was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon. Remember the rope climbing scene in the Princess Bride? Those are these cliffs. They are world famous and I couldn’t believe we were getting to go there. I tried to keep my expectations in check because I knew walking the cliffs with an 1 and 2 year old was going to be vastly different than my dream like fantasy of spending hours upon hours peacefully hiking and taking in the beauty.
My little Peanut has this curious ability to be fiercely independent one minute and then insanely needy and attach to me like a koala the next. When it comes to walking, running, and climbing..he wants to do those things independently. So, here we have hundreds of steps leading to O’Brien’s tower (the highest point of the cliffs) and Carter wants to climb them all on his own. Every. Single. One. If you try to pick him up and encourage him along he will scream. And when my little koala wants to be independent I try to encourage him since he gets separation anxiety pretty bad. So the journey up the first part of the cliffs took a really long time. Then at the top he was so tired from all the climbing he threw himself to the ground in protest and became so clingy I could barely take a picture.
Ergo to the rescue and Carter falls asleep instantly. This gave us some time to enjoy the views and take pictures. Kellan was a total champ.
I wish we could have stayed longer because I could have walked and walked. It was just a beautiful experience. Nature, the ocean…gosh, we were just loving being there. It was fun (and a little scary) watching people cross the barriers and stand right at the edge to take photos. Those people are brave because there were some wind gusts that could knock you over! Maybe I would have been more daring had this been an adult only trip but our main concern was being safe for the kids.
After our long day exploring County Clare we drove the 1:15 back to Limerick and had a light dinner. We were exhausted! Unfortunately, Carter decided it was his night to puke all over the hotel room so it was another long night for us. It was everywhere. My poor guy. He seemed to be feeling fine the next day though so it was off to Day 3 of our Ireland adventure: Blarney Castle. Stay tuned!