Our trip to Doolin included a ferry ride across the Shannon Strand. We arrived to take the 10am ferry to a strand that was covered in fog and looks too eerie to want to journey near. However, the 25-minute trip was a nice rest from driving but still moving forward.
Our first stop, the Cliffs of Moher. This was my second visit to the cliffs with the last being about a decade ago. My last visit in May, this one in October and the two visits couldn’t have been more different to the same place. Last visit—rainy, windy, and the waves reaching high up the walls of the cliffs. This visit—overcast, no winds, and the water relatively calm. I must say that while walking around was much nicer this trip, the cliffs seemed less disconcerting than they did on my last visit. Unfortunately, my grandson was not impressed with the cliffs and was happy to move on.
On to find our accommodations for the next two nights; Doolin Village Accommodations. Our rest stop is inside the home of Sarah, her husband, and gorgeous two children, Harry and Holly. Harry is an adventurous toddler that very much wants to shake your hand while Holly is a 10-month-old that doesn’t want to leave her mother’s arm. Sarah was a wonderful host and even freshened our room after the first night, which was a first in our trip in Ireland in this time of Covid. If you go to Doolin, stay with Sarah. One of the disadvantages of staying at hotels and B&B’s is always having to eat out. While it is nice sometimes, I am not one to enjoy it all the time. Our first night in Doolin, the pub food was one of the worst meals we had in Ireland, while our second night at McGann’s Pub was fabulous; the lamb shank was probably the best I have every had.
Our second day in Doolin took us down too many narrow and steep road just for a glimpse of Doonagore Castle, a round 16th century tower house with a small walled enclosure. The road toward the castle was so steep that it looked like we were going to drive into the sea. Too afraid to go any further down the road, we turned around and head to Doolin Caves to see what it looks like underground.
Doolin Caves, discovered in 1952 by two students, is now owned by a family that provide a café with good food on the surface and guided tours below ground. While I am never a fan of walking multiple flights of stairs, the over 400 steps to visit the caves was worth the trip. The prize at the bottom was one of the world's longest known free-hanging stalactites, at about 25 feet long and still growing, and is the longest known free-hanging in Europe. After about 50 minutes underground, I am ready for the surface again and a walk around the gardens of the cave to look at the animals the owners keep upfront. Cave seen, animals viewed, it is time to return to Sarah’s house and work for the afternoon. Tomorrow, we travel to Kildare and our last stop before heading to the airport and England!