As we continued to tour Ireland we arrived at Killarney and visited Ross Castle on the lakes once owned by the ruling O’Donoghue Family in the 15th century.
The whole area is a huge National park of some 10,289 hectares once part of a large estate known as Muckross and now known as the Bourn-Vincent Memorial Park. It forms what is Ireland First National Park, a gift of the Bourn and Vincent Family who donated it all to the Irish Republic in 1932. On this estate stands Ross castle all of it set in wilderness. Three lakes all large are stocked with brown trout, Char, Salmon and Eel. It was very nice to visit such a beautiful and quiet place. Just West of the Park rises MacGillycuddy Reeks the highest mountain range in Ireland.
The three lakes are Upper Lake, Muckross Lake and Lough Leane. All part of a UNESCO Biosphere preserve since 1981.
While cruising on the lakes, we were served champagne to make the sailing more agreeable.
We then proceeded afterwards to the Galway and the cliffs of Moher. Though we travelled by luxury train, the railroad does not come near many of the most famous historical and geographically stunning areas in Ireland. An example the cliffs of Moher who are one hour away by car from the nearest railway station. Trains in Ireland connect only the large urban centres.
As we neared the Cliffs of Moher, we crossed the village of Liscannor where a large funeral was taking place for a young women who was part of the rescue team and she was part of a rescue mission sent to save a man who was caught in a storm at sea. Unfortunately for her she lost her life performing the rescue. In Ireland nature is still quite wild and unforgiving.
The Cliffs of Moher is an impressive site, you may have read about them or seen them in one of the Harry Potter novels or movie. The Cave in the cliffs is featured in the Half-blood Prince.
From the cliffs of Moher you can see the Aran Islands where the famous sweaters came from. It is said that each family on the Island had its own pattern. They were all fishermen and wore the sweaters when they went out to fish at Sea, however none of them knew how to swim, so if one fell over board in the rough sea, he would be drowned, the only way to recognize a drown man was by the family pattern of his sweater. The sweaters are no longer knitted by the women of Aran, they are now made in Galway by a large Irish clothing company.
Looking straight out from the Cliffs of Moher some 3000 Km away is Newfoundland.
The cliffs is a special protected area, some 20,000 seabirds nest on the cliffs, Puffins, Chough, Razorbill, Guillemot and Fulmar. The cliffs of Moher are well worth the visit, impressive at 200 meters in height facing the North Atlantic.