Friday, July 10, 2015

Trad Music and Towering Cliffs

The cows have a good view of Doonagore Castle in Doolin.

We went to Doolin because it is known as the capital of traditional (trad) music in Ireland. However, it must be said, that I think almost every pub in Ireland has traditional music, so perhaps we didn't need to go that far.

Doolin is also close to the Burren, the barren area of landscape in County Clare that is composed of karst. It extends about 250 kilometers. There are also ancient dolmens and standing stones throughout the area.  It is said to be very beautiful in the spring when flowers bloom amid the rock, some of which are unique to the area, including a rare orchid. But it does look desolate at times.

The music doesn't get started in the pubs of Doolin until late--about 9:30--which is our usual bedtime! The first night we were there we felt bad, because our host at our Airbnb lodging is a musician and was performing that evening, but after our dinner and a pint at the pub, we were exhausted and missed her event.  We went back and slept for more than 10 hours. We never do that!

The next night we were a little smarter.  We took a nap, so we could stay up to hear the music.  Each pub in Doolin specializes in a different type of music. The pub we were in featured pipes. We heard an expert playing the uilleann pipes. Unlike the Scottish highland bagpipes, the uilleann pipes are not as loud, are played sitting, not standing, and they reach two full octaves. They are said to be very difficult to play. The pub was so packed, I couldn't get a photo (the one above is near the back), but here is a link to an image (click to view). It was a delightful evening with tourists and locals crowded round.

A path to the Cliffs of Moher begins in Doolin, and we couldn't wait to try it. We walked about three-fourths of the way to the official site of the Cliffs of Moher and back to Doolin, because we didn't want to risk walking there and missing a bus back. We met a German couple who were taking there chances on getting a ride, and I offered to take some photos of them because they had forgotten their cameras. (Because I didn't ask them if I could post their photos online, I'm only showing them from the back.) Check out where they were sitting. They were actually closer to the edge the red circle in the second photo shows. (Be sure to read the text in the photo, which Kevin added.)

Our family will find it hard to believe that I, with a fear of heights, made this walk, but I did. I had a thin strand of wire rope (from the cattle fence) to grasp at the scariest place.  We were very happy we had taken the walk and had seen the cliffs with only a few people, because later when we drove the car to the official site, it was swarming with people.  The cliffs were still beautiful, but not nearly as exciting.

And here are a few more shots of Doolin.

At a cafe in Doolin.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful scenery! I can almost smell the sea! And would love to hear the trad music! Looks like a great place to live!