Waking up in our lovely suite at Fitzgrald’s Woodland’s House Hotel, I can honestly say that my first instinct was to lay in bed and hope someone would bring me breakfast (and from what I have experienced at this hotel, if I had only asked it likely would have happened). As it was, we got ourselves prepared and made our way through the hotel to the restaurant where a large buffet was waiting. Everything you need for the Full Irish- plus tea, coffee, juices and breads- prepare you for a day exploring what Western Ireland has on offer.
Today our schedule included something that has been on my “Ireland Bucket List” for a few years- a Cliffs of Moher cruise.
The ocean was calm- which means the boat rocked to and fro as it sliced through the waves blowing inland, with only a few larger waves that sent you sliding across your seat. We braved the wind and chill, sitting outside on the Doolin2Aran Ferry that took us from Doolin Harbour to the base of the cliffs.
We had the great fortune to be riding the ferry with Kathryn from the Cliffs Of Moher Visitor Center who pointed out fun sights – like the Harry Potter Cave- and interesting phenomena- like a wave that only appears in perfect meteorological conditions and draws surfers from around the world. She even told a tale about a dinner party held by Cornelius O’Brien (who build O’Brien’s Tower at the top of the cliffs). Apparently “Corny” would have dinner parties on the limestone ledge at the edge of the cliffs back in the late 1800′s. With music and such, it was quite the event. Until, at one evening, the fiddler had been sneaking a bit too much of the Irish… and played himself right off the edge of the cliff.
Heading back to Doolin, I also caught a glimpse of one of my favorite Irish Castles, Doonagore.
After stopping for lunch, we made our way inland to Craggaunowen, a “Living Past” experience that covers Irish history from the 4th century through 1550. As you travel through time, you’ll find costumed interpreters along the way to help you understand Ireland’s rich history.
As we wandered the wooded paths from site to site, the girls had a terrific time exploring. Yes, I let my girls enter the souterrain (underground passage). And no, I didn’t follow them.
Caelan, ever watchful of things below everyone else’s line of sight, delighted over finding this sweet mushroom growing under a tree.
And there may have been squealing over the feral piglets…
After much cooing at the baby piglets and the sweet baby goats in a field near the parking lot, we left Craggaunowen at closing time. We made a quick stop to visit friends in Limerick City, then it was back to the hotel… Where we found our room had been broken in to…
… by faeries with lots of pixie dust! Oh, what an exciting way to end the day!