Monday, 8 July 2013

Summer has Arrived in Ireland

Today has been a very warm 24 degrees which seems much hotter than the same temperature at home. It is really humid and the sun is very intense when it shines on you. The warm weather is here to stay for the week which we are very excited about as we have some very scenic days coming up and will be more beautiful in the sun.

We started the day giving thanks to the ancestors of this land at the Killinaboy Abbey, the Sheela na gig is just over the south door but is getting very worn by the elements. She is very large above the main door archway a symbol of entering into a sacred place symbolic of our journey today into The Burren area. There is also a round tower in the grounds of the Abbey.

We continued along the road to The Burren and stopped at Fahee North which lies on the Western side of Cappaghkennedy at the top of Glencolumbkille, the valley of St Colmchille (C520 - 597) the Apostle of the Hebrides. This road is the closest road to the sacred mountain Mullaghmore where the tour buses can not go.

Mullaghmore Mountain
The Speaking Stones a mixture of Standing Stones and Cairns at Fahee North a very spiritual place

Karst Landscape of the Burren at Fahee North

This appears to be a very harsh and barren land from the car but once you step onto the landscape and have a close look it is filled with the beauty of flowers where many rare species grow and where Arctic flowers grow along side tropical flowers a complete mystery and very magical.

We stopped at the Burren Perfumery a family run business for more than three decades, a traditional soap and perfume making centre which uses oils and plants from across the world.  All products made in the Perfumery contain no chemicals or colourings etc. all food served in the tea rooms are organic and fresh. An absolutely wonderful hidden treasure in this amazing part of Ireland.

The Herbal Garden in the Burren Perfumery

The laboratory of creating the special scents

More views of the Folded Mountain Mullaghmore from Fahee North

We then stopped where there was a gate in the dry stone wall and walked along the karst landscape absorbing this extraordinary place. The Irish word for Burren is Boireann and means 'stony place' or 'rocky land'. The Burrens are about 100 square miles of limestone surface that makes farming very difficult.

At Dromore Wood Nature Reserve with 1,000 acres of woodland, we went for a walk along the Castle Trail which has the remains of the 15th century Ruan Church right on the Dromore Lake.

Sitting in the peaceful remains of an old well

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