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Old 06-08-2009, 11:54 AM   #1
redzinner
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Trip Report - Emerald Isle 2009 - Part 8

Friday 05/29/2009 Day 7 of Tour

Ever-Moher: The Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Rathbaun Farm, Farewell Dinner

We are convinced the reason this last day of the Emerald Isle tour is so full of wonderful sights and fun events is to prevent uncontrollable sadness at the thought of leaving this lovely country. It worked. We enjoyed every detail of the day and didn’t want it to end.

This morning’s breakfast was slightly different than the others at the previous 2 hotels. There is a choice of a buffet or a hot breakfast off the a la carte menu. There were servers at each table instead of one or two working the whole room. It’s all about the presentation at the Castle. It is not a rushed service so watch your time when ordering off the menu in the morning.

The drive to the Cliffs of Moher and throughout the day provided exquisite scenery. You know, I’m glad for our first trip to Ireland we didn’t do this on our own in a rental car. The driver would never have been able to absorb the scenery. It is so idyllic, peaceful, … the scenes of which poetry is written.
Stretches of land with stone ‘fence’ barriers delineating plots of ground, thatched-roofed isolated homes, sheep, donkeys, horses, llamas, cattle, were visible mile after mile. Here are a few photos, from the bus.







The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking. Guess what, it was another gorgeous day and we could see the cliffs and Goat Island. It was very windy up there but truly worth the walk up the hill and being buffeted by the winds. Fortunately we had enough time to walk, take pictures and visit the Visitor’s Center.
I think I took the most photos in any given day at the cliffs and none of them do the dramatic scene justice.





The wind just flattens the grass …




On the way to Ballyvaughn, the little town we stopped in for lunch, we passed the Burren. The Burren is a dramatic landscaped area of limestone pavement.



Lunch was at Monk’s Restaurant. We had a choice from a few entrees, the guides took our order on the bus, phoned them in and everything was ready when we got there. I had a crab salad sandwich. Don’t remember the salad part, it was all crab and delicious. Mindy had a grilled cheese which I’m told was very tasty.




On to the Farm for scone making and sheep-shearing! What a wonderful place and I imagine children would love this place. I know all of the adults did.



Finished Product: Beware! You eat what you prepare!







Francesc (guide) communing with a Connemara Pony



Miniature Horse foal


Unfortunately we had to leave and head back to the Castle! We had about 2 hours to ourselves before dinner. A few of us did an optional, offered by the Castle not ABD, Hawk Walk. A Falconry master brought a Harris Hawk to our area and then we proceeded to walk on paths in the woods. He would parcel out bits of raw duck breast and the hawk would then swoop and glide to our arm. We all had protective gloves on the hand/arm in which we held the meat. Two people in the group didn’t even need the meat, Ruby, the hawk would just fly to their arm and perch. This was a new experience for me and I’m glad I took the time to do it.







Dinner that evening was an elegant affair. Some chose to dress for this dinner, some came in jeans. That’s what I love about ABD … no dress code. Do your own thing. What was elegant was the Castle’s food, service and ambiance.

The majority of us didn’t want to end the evening so we proceeded to the Cocktail Lounge and said our goodbyes while enjoying our last evening together.

Sorry this one was so long but I loved this day! I'll finish with final thoughts on another thread.

Final Observations
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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Once again, thank you for posting such gorgeous pictures!!
I'm so excited - we leave in 3 days!!!

I took a break from packing to read your report and I have a packing question for you - I have teva type closed toe sandals - is the weather too cold to skip the socks?
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cappygirl View Post
Once again, thank you for posting such gorgeous pictures!!
I'm so excited - we leave in 3 days!!!

I took a break from packing to read your report and I have a packing question for you - I have teva type closed toe sandals - is the weather too cold to skip the socks?
You're welcome and BE EXCITED! It's a wonderful trip.

Your question about shoes is a tough one and solely dependent on you.
I can tell you my daughter wore flip flops most of the time, her Keen water shoes without socks and one day with sneakers and socks. I wore my Merrills with socks most days and my Keens (closed toe) without socks some days.
Mornings are chillier but by afternoon the socks could come off and most of the time you would have the bus to leave or put your socks back on anyway.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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Thanks so much!! I now have to figure out how to slip another pair of shoes in my suitcase without my husband noticing
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cappygirl View Post
Once again, thank you for posting such gorgeous pictures!!
I'm so excited - we leave in 3 days!!!

I took a break from packing to read your report and I have a packing question for you - I have teva type closed toe sandals - is the weather too cold to skip the socks?
Cappy, as my mother mentioned, I wore my Teva flip-flops and was so glad I brought them. The only day I wore my Keen water shoes was the day we went to Killarney National Park/Muckross House (very glad I did, too, because the ground was soddened to the point that I sunk... and I just went into the bathroom and rinsed my shoes & feet). I wore sneakers with socks on the day that we took the serenity walk & eco-cruise (our only really rainy day) and on the day that we went to the Cliffs of Moher & the farm.

I saw lots of people with sandals/flip-flops/Tevas... wear what is comfy for you!
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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Thanks! I think I'll throw in a pair of sneakers just in case. I ALWAYS bring too many pairs of shoes but better safe than sorry.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:40 PM   #7
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Wonderful pics! I know what you mean about the pictures not doing a place justice! But the cliffs just look spectacular. I can't imagine what they are like in person.

That Hawk Walk sounds very interesting! How often do you get a chance to do something like that?

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