"Limmerick - Trip 2004" Limerick by Openseas
Limerick Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 2 photos
We arrived at Dublin airport at 2.00pm and luckily our hired car was ready so we were on the road rather quickly driving to Limerick through the villages of Rosrea, Nenagh via the N7 freeway. Driving in Ireland is a pain as the road are absolutely disgusting just two lanes with semi trailers, tractors, bikes caravans all trying to weave their way around the small villages. We arrived in Limerick at 5.30pm and booked into the Jury Inn (room 323) and unpacked our bags before heading to dinner.
After walking the streets of Limerick looking for a place to eat we decided to ask a taxi driver where the best restaurant is in town. He said he would take us to a village called Adare just 20 minutes away. The drive seemed to take ages and the meter was ticking away rather furiously but after 40 minutes we arrived in the tiny historic village,snuggled in a wooden and lush countryside setting.
Adare is widely regarded as being on of Ireland’s most picturesque village. Situated on the Maidgue River it dates back to the 13th century. During its long history, Adare, is a strategic location, has been the subject of many conquests, war and rebellions. The old town of Adare, which stood on the river near Desmond Castle, was destroyed during the 16th century wars. Most of the present village was built in the 19th century. Today, Adare has a rich wealth of heritage, as well as architectural and scenic beauty. Two groups of world famous ornate, thatched cottages line off the broad main street, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins.
We had a delightful meal in a quaint thatched home called “The Inn Between”, blending an old atmosphere with inspiring and innovative cuisine. We were extremely tired so managed to get another taxi to take us back to the Jury’s Inn and we finally hit our pillows around 12.00pm
Wednesday 8th September
Peter had to wake up early as he had to visit a factory outside of town and I packed the bags and took my time slowly as I didn’t really feel like walking the streets of Limerick. The city of Limerick is famous for many reasons some good and some less than savoury. Founded by Norse and sitting at the entrance to the mouth of the Shannon River, Limerick boasts a history of tradition. It has over the last 30 years rejuvenated itself architecturally by the turning the city back towards the river, economically by establishing new industries.
Peter turned up about 11.30am and we decided we would drive through the town of Innis and onwards to the Cliffs of Moher and to see the O’Brien’s Tower. The hustle and bustle of the car park and the visitors centre are a marked contrast to the spectacular cliffs a short walk away which rise to 200m and extend for 8km. Seabirds nest on the numerous ledges on the headlands and stacks that have been created from the constant pounding of the Atlantic. The 19th century O’Brien’s Tower is a Victorian viewpoint on the highest point of the cliffs near the visiting centre. The cliffs remind me of the gap in Sydney but I think our cliffs are more exciting to view and much more spectacular scenically.
After looking at the cliffs we took to the dirt roads to experience the different scenery and also to look at The Burren (meaning a rocky place) it is one of Irelands most unique areas, being the largest area of Karst limestone in Europe. It almost resembles a lunarscape in its most isolated areas and is a stark contrast to the mountains or the lush green landscape most associated with Ireland. The Burren Centre provides an introduction to the rich diversity of flora, fauna and geology of The Burren, which has created this magnificent landscape.
We then drove west of Galway towards Clifden, the landscape opens out into the majestic, varied landscape of Connemara.The mountain ranges of Maamturks and Twelve Pins rise out the largely flat bog which sweeps down to the coastline, dotted with tiny lakes and islands and numerous beaches. The designated National Park area of this landscape comprises of 2000ha of scenic countryside including mountains, bog and grassland. The park is particularly rich in wildlife, there are herds of deer’s, and the River Polladirk runs through the Glanmore valley at the centre of the park.
After stopping to have a rest and take in the views we headed towards the world famous Sky Road ascending from Clifden, ‘Capital” of Connemara, we made a swift descent towards the sea to find ourselves at Abbey glen Castle situated in private 12 acres of sheltered parkland and gardens with little streams, palm trees and a helicopter pad.
Abbey glen was built in 1832 by Sir John d’Arcy of Clifden Castle, 33 years before Mitchell Henry built Kylemore Abbey in 1865. Open fires and homely cosy couches sustain the warmth and atmosphere, which kindly welcome you well beyond the front door. Our room was tastefully decorated that overlooked a pretty stream and garden. The room was huge and offered a king size bed, couch and small table and chairs. After unpacking we headed to the restaurant, which is evidently renowned for its gourmet food and fine wines. With its elevated position overlooking the gardens the cru sine delighted us but we were slightly disappointed with the staff that kept taking our wine glasses away every time we went outside.
We later took a good bottle of New Zealand wine back to our room and enjoyed the night away drinking and chatting before hitting the bed at 1.00am.
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