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The Burren

The Burren is where Earth meets the Moon.

Limestone formations pushed up from under the sea create a dramatic and gorgeous landscape in County Clare and a bit of County Galway in the west of Ireland.

These limestone slabs of rock are now under protection from being removed, rearranged, or damaged, as they’re part of the celebrated landscape.

New Vocabulary! Clints and Grikes (and karst!)
Poulnabrone Dolmen.

Some of the most picturesque parts of Ireland are from here including Poulnabrone Dolmen, perhaps the most famous and best preserved portal tomb in Ireland. The remains of 33 individuals (men, women, and children) were found dating back from over 5000 years ago. No bodies were intact, however, suggesting they were placed there after decomposing elsewhere.

More angles of the tomb. Archeologists suspect this Poulnabrone was a particularly important portal tomb because of it’s location on the karst landscape, as well as by its slightly elevated position on a mound.

Mosses and plants such as orchids, blue moor grass, cranesbill, wild thyme, wood sage, and more, thrive in the damp, wind-protected grikes (were you paying attention to the new vocab?).

Speaking of the local flora, we visited the Burren Perfumery, a quaint shop close by that makes perfumes, skincare products, and other items from and inspired by the Burren plant life. Driving to it seems like you’re turning onto small roads to the middle of nowhere, but it’s well worth a visit for its garden and more of the breathtaking local scenery. (The delicate and exotic products and tasty tearoom are a bonus.)

Top Right: Comfry “A wonderful healing herb used as a ‘drawing ointment’ for splinters, stings, and to reduce swelling. Also helps to heal broken bones (known as bone knit). Miraculous in cases of nursing metastasis. Bottom Left: Calendula “Soothing anti-inflammatory, an effective skin healer used to soothe eczema, rashes, minor cuts and scrapes. Naturally antiseptic and antioxidant.”

Big bumble bees buzz around the Burren Perfumery garden. The plants and flowers have descriptions of the plants and historical/medicinal uses as well.

I’ve never used a facial serum before, but I bought one with rose to try. The lady helping me says she uses it daily and loves it.

The staff in the shop were also so kind to help us out with a recommendation for a nearby walk (before we bought anything) and even provided us a map with detailed instructions.

Landscape and flora near the Burren Perfumery.

The Burren is truly unlike any other landscape; the stark and unexpected natural formations have inspired writers and artists for generations. (It was used as a film location for Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, the latest Star Wars movie, and even perhaps inspiring settings in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia!)

P.S. The famed Cliffs of Moher are also part of the Burren’s limestone landscape. Here’s a teaser:

Top: View of the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin Pier. Bottom: More limestone formations on the other side of Doolin Pier

 

4 Comments

  1. eve eve

    Fun facts and lots of learning on natural products

  2. red red

    Love the grist and karst formations! I think there’s still a comfry plant at A’s house, in backyard. First neighbors, the Taylors, were into natural plantsings and had shared a plant start back in 1980!

    • That’s awesome! Did you ever get to use it?

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