The Burren

Ireland, what’s your secret? How do you stay so green despite rarely seeing the sun? As A and I embarked on our tour of the Burren, the karst landscape of the west, I stared out the bus window at grass so lush, I’d happily roll around in it–the cows, sheep, and horses here must be living the life.

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Like he promised, the driver did not get lost in the roundabout, or give up like other cars and create a hole in the short little stone wall bordering the highway. We stopped first at Dunguaire Castle, and soon the greenery surrendered to the rugged, though equally stunning, landscape of the Burren.

Terrifyingly huge cows and adorably tiny lambs grazed in abundance as we approached the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a famous portal tomb. We also stopped briefly at the ruins of Kilfanora Cathedral, trying not to step on anything important as we traversed the cemetery to see what remains of the structure.

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The little fishing village of Doolin served as our lunch stop, though I do wish we’d gotten some time to explore the brightly colored shops. Guess we can’t have everything.

Anyways, four hours later, we finally reached the Cliffs of Moher! They were even more breathtaking than I’d imagined, and my photos simply don’t do the water justice. (Fun fact: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, along with The Princess Bride, were filmed here!)

On the way back to Galway, we drove along the Wild Atlantic Way, which offered endless views of the ocean. We even got to briefly hop off the bus, and a few brave, or recklessly dangerous, souls like myself picked our way through the treacherous rocks to the view of the coastline.

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I wish I could say that I stayed awake for the entire return trip, but a half-hour nap snuck up on me. After we stumbled off the bus, though, a crisp wind woke us right back up like a slap to the face, ensuring we completed our mission to find dinner. The day ended with me nearly choking on my mouthful of “aromatic duck wrap” as I laughed at a guy in the hostel’s common room loudly proclaiming, “I don’t care about Donald Trump!” Same, bro. Same.

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