A Day Trip to Cliffs of Moher


As my son had his birthday in May and I hadn’t seen him since that I wanted to give him a present and as we see too often because he lives mostly in Canada, I gave him a trip that we could make together. As the time is limited, I tried to pick the best one and so we started early in the morning with Paddywagon Tours, which seems to be a great name in Irish tourism business, you can see their green signs all around the town. Paddy is a real Irish nickname, of course, after St Patrick, who has been probably a bit greater doer than Paddywagon, and it’s said that besides bringing Christianity to Ireland, he also got rid of all the snakes. Who knows, maybe they just didn’t have any snakes here even before St Patrick’s time 🙂

1-1aOur tour guide is named John and he promises to speak as a real Dubliner and so he does all through the tour. He has thousands of jokes, stories and competitions, he predicts the weather, sings Galway girl, teaches us to swear politely and in an Irish way, using the word “feck”, which really doesn’t sound too rude, but a bit funny. And the least but not the last, at the same time he drives the big green Paddywagon bus with joyful elegance through all these narrow roads, and never loses his positive spirit, even not when we lose a couple on the Baby Cliffs. Ok, they just sat on the wrong bus and met us at the next stop, which means that at the same time there were more than one Paddywagon buses, to be honest, there were three.

The first stop is a small colourful fishing village called Kinvara where we can stretch our legs and take some photos. The weather is not very promising but our guide convinces us that we will get a sunny day on the Cliffs of Moher and I have to tell that he was right. In Kinvara there are not too many houses, so they have had a possibility to paint them all in different colours, which gives the town a nice and friendly look. Almost every house hosts a pub or a small shop and they have also a little port for boats.

2-1bThe landscape is green, so green and even greener, with some rocks and lambs, cows and small houses, sprinkled over all that greenness that make up the Emerald Island. The name Emerald Island is the perfect match to Ireland, if you haven’t seen it, you will never believe how many different shades of green are possible to find there. The stone fences seem to be here as popular as on Estonian Islands, so I am pretty sure about our same Viking ancestors.

1-10After twirling on the crooked roads that go up and down, back and forth, we end at the ruins of Corcomroe Abbey, a place where the Cistercian monks used to live in the 13th century. The abbey is located in Cleare County and is made of limestones, again something familiar. The views under the abbey vaults are nice, green and bumpy, but the big dark clouds are following us and when we are running on the bus it rains already. One of the Irish kings was buried under the abbey and lots of other noble and not so noble persons into the small graveyard that surrounded the abbey. Someone asked the guide if nowadays the graveyard was used and in which reasons you could be buried there. The guide answered that the only reason for that was to be dead (and of course preferably local, I guess).

Followed by the rain, we reach the Baby Cliffs and the sight is magnificent, a little bit scary because of the rain and wind and height, but you can feel that there’s the Ocean ahead – the Atlantic Ocean. You can even smell it. We take our photos, admire the nature and get back to the bus, which seems to be the right one. Because of the rain we couldn’t see the three islands which are supposed to be near the coast, maybe just a little bit.

The next stop is in Doolen, in a small windy seaside village, where the houses are all white. Although the village is tiny, just only a handful of similar looking houses, there are three big pubs and in one of them, we are going to have our lunch. The afternoon band is again playing Land Rover, but it is a very touristic place where they are probably living from the clients of these tour buses and why not to listen to Land Rover in the afternoon.

And now the main attraction – we really reach the Cliffs of Moher and the weather really improves, exactly as our John had promised. We are happy to have the sun, the clear sky, and a fantastic view of the grandiose cliffs. We haven’t got rid of the wind, but somehow the wind is a part of that day anyway. At firs,t we keep on the track, but when it ends and all the others are going on, we also start to balance on a narrow path, which is quite slippery after all that rain, but the panorama gets better and better and it’s so awfully great to walk there and feel the nature around you and the Atlantic almost just under your feet. These 2 and a half hours are totally too short for that place, so we miss the other side and have to go back to the bus.

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On our way back we have one more short stop at Bunratty Castle and filled with good emotions we reach Dublin at 8 pm. Wow, it was a great day, even if I am not a fan of bus tours, but anyway, if someone asks me, I would suggest this tour to anybody, especially if you don’t have too much time and you are not going to rent a car. So it came out that the birthday present for my son was also a great present for myself and I am so lucky that I did it.


The Irish National Heritage Park

In the Irish National Heritage Park in County Wexford, you will get a true picture of the Irish history.



In 6000 thousand years ago the Irish used to live in such kind of houses. The houses were all made of reed and chimneys were not used yet. Here is our nice tour guide doing her summer job.



The reed roofs are a bit similar to Estonian reed roofs, but the shapes of the houses are totally different. No windows, no chimneys, just big roofs.



On such kind of a ground, the Druids worshipped their gods and made sacrifices to them. If you were lucky enough to be chosen, then in the middle of the stone circle your head was chopped off and the gods were supposed to fulfil the wishes of the people, or not 🙂


1500 years ago the people started to build Ringforts and all their life went on inside it. It was used for herding the animals, doing your everyday tasks and also for protecting you from the enemy.



One Celtic Cross – beautiful with its colours.


From Viking’s Age, which started from 795 Anno Domino


Crannog – artificially created island, surrounded by a wooden fence, to keep away the enemies.


Inside Crannog – the houses still had roofs made of reed. Crannogs were still used 400 years ago.


One more statue


And here I am again, just as I promised, taking my photo with Philip Lynott from Thin Lizzy, known also as Ace with a Base. Their best-known hit was the 1973 classic “Whiskey in the Jar”.

At least now I know where to find this statue, before that I remembered that I had seen it, but I didn’t remember the exact place. It’s just one left turn from the Grafton street.

The Statues and their Nicknames

Before my trip to Dublin when I started my blog I did a lot of research on the Internet to get myself into the right mood and of course to be better prepared for the coming weeks. As a language teacher and a bit of a language freak who is awfully attracted to sculptures, I got really impressed when I found that web page about the statues of Dublin and their Notorious Nicknames. At first, I bookmarked it and then added it to my blog info bar to be sure that I don’t lose it. Walking around, discovering these statues in the real life  and taking photos of them gave me an idea to take a picture with all these mentioned statues and here they are. I have to admit that I forgot the Ace with a Base, still passed it several times, but didn’t take a picture. I will definitely do it on Christmas time, probably Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzie is still standing on Grafton street and waiting for me.


A statue for the ordinary women in Dublin, with a nickname” Hags with the Bags”, one of the bags was snatched a little while after the statue was placed there, but fortunately, it was returned afterwards.


The Spire of Light, over one hundred and twenty meters long, located at O’Connell Street and placed there to celebrate the Millenium. A good landmark if you are new in Dublin. But it seemed that the locals don’t like it as much as the tourists do 🙂 Also known as Needle or just Spire.


Molly Mallone, still wheeling her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow, crying cockles and mussels alive a-live alive a-live O! Also known as “The Dolly with the Trolley”, “The Flirt in the Skirt” or “The Tart with the Cart”.


The statue of Anna Livia, who appears in James Joyce’s novel Finnegan’s Wake and which Dubliners use to call “The Floozy in the Jacuzzi”


Me and James Joyce, the most famous writer, in the middle of the night somewhere in Dublin, actually at Earl Street North, just turn right from the Spire. Also known as The Prick with a Stick.


Oscar Wilde, very imposing statue, it shows so well the importance of enjoying yourself. And how is he called? My favourite page says that The Queer with the Leer or The Fag on the Crag 🙂 Knowing now the sense of humour of the Dubliners I am not a bit surprised at all. It doesn’t show that they don’t love him, oh, they do 🙂


On the corner of the park, there’s a statue to commemorate the Irish Famine. These pillars surround a statue of the 18th-century father of Irish republican, Theodore Wolfe Tone and although it represents one of the darkest periods of Irish history the Dubliners have given it a relevant nickname and call it the Tone-Henge, like Stonehenge – look at the shape of the pillars:)


The Chariot of Life – Abbey Street, known locally as “The Mad Milkman”

Emerand Island and Newbridge Silverwear

IMG_5909Ireland is called the Emerald Island because of its green countryside. For the very first time that name was used by the Irish poet William Drennan, in his poem “When Erin first rose”. Erin is a name that is derived from the Irish word Éirinn that means Ireland. A little bit of googling showed me that  the name was originally given to the island by the Milesians after the goddess Ériu, who was one of the three goddess sisters, who all wanted the island to be called after her name. Although there are not real emeralds found in Ireland I got mine from there. They are nice and green and symbolize the greenness of the island and as they are shiny and glittering they look like the real emeralds. It seems that they have been inspired from the Claddagh Ring because there are the same symbols – the heart, the crown, and the hands. It was the best Birthday Present I could ever imagine.

IMG_5885They say that the Diamonds are the Girls’ Best Friends. Ok, there’s of course, some truth in it, who doesn’t like jewellery or other glittering things, but diamonds are maybe a bit overestimated. Girls, I’m pretty sure that all over the world and in all possible ages, love to be paid attention to and especially to be given something that proves it. Girls love things that have the meaning and have their story to tell and help to remind some beautiful moments from the past. Somewhere in Dublin is an amazing shop that is called Newbridge Silverware and from where several sweet, but elegant glittering things have found a way to me. Of course, they have had never found that way without you. I have had some very happy moments, which I remember perfectly well when I have been opening the box with a big smile on my face and found a piece of silver wear from there. Thank you for these moments 🙂

You’ll be right at home in the Land of Saints and Scholars

That’s what the QUIZ 15 Things You Didn’t Know about Ireland” told me when I got 12 points out of 15. So I got to know 3 new things and it’s not bad at all.

Now I know that:

– the famous Irish musical group that was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012 was The Chieftains, I must say that I don’t know the group, but I found it on YouTube and here is:

– the last port of call for the Titanic before its fateful voyage was Cobh, County Cork – I have to say that I had heard that before but wasn’t sure about the right town.  The RMS Titanic launched from Belfast harbor on April 8, 1912, for her first—and only—voyage, stopping at Southampton, England, and then at Cherbourg, France, to pick up more passengers. The last port of call before the steamship set out into the Atlantic Ocean was at Cobh (then known as Queenstown) in County Cork, where another 123 travelers came aboard.

a steam-powered carousel is not a part of the famous Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow,but as I have never been to Wicklow County I couldn’t know it, but when I went through the Daily Trips from Dublin the Powerscourt Estate somehow caught my eye and I remembered that Wicklow was called the Garden of Ireland. How could I not expect Japanese Gardens there? With the same Wicklow County trip, the village of Avoca was also mentioned, the place where Ballykissangel was filmed. Why didn’t they ask a question about that?

BTW, the Quiz is found on the right menu bar.