Although you more think of Ireland as the Emerald Isle, emerald meaning a lot of green grass, we discovered some of Ireland's most interesting geography to be a couple of areas of solid rock.
By day four in Ireland we had seen the cities and the lush countryside and small villages and even been inside a not-all-that-old castle. But today, our tour guide took us through the Burren area, on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. The Burren is almost self explanatory. It is an area of barren granite hills that stretch for miles and miles and miles in southwest Ireland. It is, and then again it isn't a natural formation. Obviously the granite is natural, but had it not been for the Vikings and poor husbandry practices in the 900s, we wouldn't be seeing it.
Once, these hillsides were covered with trees and topsoil. But the Vikings, in an attempt to till the ground, cut the trees and plowed up the grass. And so over the course of the next couple of centuries, all the top soil washed into the valleys. Which makes the valley floors of the Burren very fertile, and the rocky hills above them, well, very rocky.
Our lunch-time destination that day was another rock formation, totally natural, on the Atlantic coast, the Cliffs of Moher. These cliffs rise 700 feet straight up from the sea down below. A sunny day would have been better, no doubt. But it had been raining cats and dogs on our way just a little earlier. So, this little break we had from the downpours while we were there was a treat. It could have been worse. And about the time we left, it got worse.
But that's the way the weather is in Ireland, at least while we were there. It rained every day at least some. But usually just in spurts. Heavy downpours that usually lasted no more than a half hour then the sun peeked out again, at least for a while before the next downpour.
I don't know for sure why, but I seem to have shot a whole lot of still pictures that day, as opposed to video, either from my pocked camera that I used mostly to get rolling shots from the bus, like these pictures of another tour that met us on "corkscrew hill" which is a description of the twisty, windy, road and not any liquid refreshments at the other end of the drive, or my big camera on which I hoped to get my better shots.
Again that afternoon the scenery changed again entirely, from nature to a recreation of a Dickens era village, located behind a 12th century castle, where we're feast that evening. But we'll get to that next time.
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:35 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:35:57 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears an disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:00:02 GMT
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown. If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge. Carl Tobias, aMore >>
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown.More >>
It's all about the odds, and one lone ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching each of the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials...More >>
Some lucky person walked into a Publix supermarket in suburban Florida over the past few days and bought a ticket now worth an estimated $590.5 million - the highest Powerball jackpot in history.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at...More >>
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at U.S. jails.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:20:30 GMT
An accident combined with interstate roadwork causes headaches for motorists Saturday afternoon in Rankin county. Traffic was practically brought to a standstill on I-20 in Pearl at the Airport Road exitMore >>
An accident combined with interstate roadwork causes headaches for motorists Saturday afternoon in Rankin County.More >>