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Doolin Caves has the Great Stalactite which we heard about from several locals in Doolin. Having been to several caves in my past travels I wasn’t sure what to expect but have to say I was impressed by the Great Stalactite which at 23.5 ft (7.30 meters) is the longest free standing stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere.

The tour begins by taking the stairs down 80 ft into a tunnel and from there you wander through to a dome area where you’ll see the impressive stalactite. The maximum allowed per tour is 20 people and we were thrilled there were only 6 of us on the last tour of the day. Our tour guide was very informative and did a great job giving us the history of the cave. Our tour was a little less than an hour but I imagine with more people it would be closer to a full hour tour. Hard hats are provided and a must since the cave ceiling is very low in some spots ~I managed to hit my head a couple times and I’m only 5’8″. Plan on getting a little muddy so don’t wear your favorite pair of shoes. If you’re in Doolin, take an hour to enjoy the cave ~ it’s worth it.

Going through a passageway in the Doolin Cave.

Going through a passageway in the Doolin Cave.

Great Stalactite (23.5 ft) in Doolin Cave

Great Stalactite (23.5 ft) in Doolin Cave

Great Stalactite in Doolin Cave, Ireland

Great Stalactite in Doolin Cave, Ireland

A couple more photos of Doolin before we head out for County Cork.

Before sunrise in Doolin, Ireland.

Before sunrise in Doolin, Ireland.

Half Moon over Doolin, Ireland

Half Moon over Doolin, Ireland

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Wave off of Doolin Point, County Clare, Ireland

Wave off of Doolin Point, County Clare, Ireland

Bird near the Cliffs of Mohr, County Clare, Ireland

Gannet soaring near the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

Doolin Bird

Gannet soaring along the water near the Cliffs of Moher

Birds in Flight

Herring Gulls in Flight

We hiked around the Cliffs of Moher which is about 8K south of Doolin but then decided we wanted to see it from the water as well so we booked a cruise on “Dolphin Discovery.” With full on sunshine and milder temps, it turned out to be a great way to spend the morning ~ got to see a friendly, playful dolphin, birds and the Cliffs of Moher.

Dolphin in the the Doolin Pier

Dolphin in the the Doolin Pier

Dolphin checking us out

Dolphin checking us out

Looks like Hawaii but it's really Ireland

Looks like Hawaii but it’s really Ireland

Cliffs of Mohr

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Mohr

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Mohr

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Mohr

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Mohr

Cliffs of Moher

If you want to go to the Cliffs of Moher, there’s a car park and visitor center. Click here for opening hours and prices.

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From Dublin, we drove through The Burren which is the region in North County Clare between Clare and Kinvara. The natural beauty of this area is breathtaking. We had reservations in a little town on the coast of The Burren called Doolin. We decided since we were leaving the city behind, we would opt for a small B&B called Kate’s Place. What a great choice. With only 3 rooms and it being brand new, we were treated to a very clean, charming little B&B with super friendly hosts, delicious & extremely filling breakfasts, and access to information about the area by someone who’s lived there all her life. We only stayed two nights but I was very tempted to spend the remainder of our vacation there (three additional nights).

Entering The Burren, County Clare, Ireland

Entering The Burren, County Clare, Ireland

Kate's Place B&B

Kate’s Place B&B

Driving into Doolin made me feel like I was back home on the Big Island (Hawaii). I know comparing Ireland to Hawaii sounds strange but the north part of County Clare has a similar landscape and feel to it. There are lots of wide open spaces, cattle grazing in the green fields, it’s a bit windy, hilly and, oddly enough, lots of surfboards on top of the cars. Although the Western Coast of Ireland is known for surfing ~ the air/water temperatures is where the comparison to Hawaii ends. It was still freezing when we arrived in Doolin.

Doolin's Narrow Road

Doolin’s Narrow Road

Church in Doolin, County Clare

                                                  Catholic Church in Doolin, County Clare

Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Narrow Road Driving to Doolin, County Clare

Narrow Road Driving to Doolin, County Clare

More Sheep in Doolin

More Sheep in Doolin

House in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

House in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Pier in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Pier in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Stream in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Stream in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Doolin is known for its traditional Irish music at the pubs and O’Connor’s Pub has nightly music at 9:30 pm. Since it was Easter Monday, they also had a small band playing at 6:30pm. While the local musicians played, a local Irish singer named Ted McCormac joined in and it was fabulous! Felt fortunate to hear him sing.

O'Connors Pub in Doolin, County Clare

O’Connors Pub in Doolin, County Clare

On the second night at O’Connors, we saw the owner of the B&B join in the band with his button accordion. The best Irish music is when the locals get together and join in randomly.

I didn’t drive while we were in Scotland but have since taken to the wheel. So far, I haven’t had any trouble with remembering to stay left when driving and shifting with my left hand instead of right is easy. In fact, I prefer driving to being a passenger…especially since John always asks “would you like “on-coming traffic side” or “stone wall side” ~ both choices are stressful.

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