I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Burren

Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, holds a world famous Matchmaking Festival each September. Since it was only June and, anyhow, Carmen and I had, of course, already met our match, we drank a quick cup of coffee, ate a swift slice of cake, and journeyed on ...




... into the stark limestone landscape of the Burren (from the Irish 'Boireann' meaning 'Great Rock'). I'd heard and read a lot about the Burren, and had always wanted to go there.We were too late in the year to see its signature flower, the Spring gentian, but we did spot mountain avens, and this orchid ...




... and many other flowers and ferns in the 'grikes' ('grikes' are the crevices between the slabby limestone blocks or 'clints'). Don't you just love those words, 'clints' and 'grikes'? I remember them fondly from school geography lessons long ago ...




This is a unique and wonderful habitat - the largest area of limestone pavement in Europe, I believe. A signboard explained a little of its ecology and rare flora ...




There are also various burial sites, dolmens, standing stones and ancient settlements dotted about the region, such as this megalithic portal tomb at Poulnabrone ...

5 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

We too had coffee and cake in Lisdoovarna (love the Christy Moore song) and then went to the Burren. By the time we got there it was absolutely pouring with rain but somehow that made it all the more atmospheric. I brought a rock home - it sits on our hearth (and yes, I know I shouldn't have done so). Incidentally we have clints and grykes here in Yorkshire.

Goat said...

Yup, those are fantastic words. Interestingly, I used to live on a Burren Street in inner-city Sydney. Enjoying the tour!

Ruth said...

One of the things I like most about you is your specificity of words.

The image of the orchid is a treasure, a surprise.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I love your Yorkshire clints and grykes too, Pat. Many's the time I've meditated on the limestone pavement above Malham Cove.

Glad you're enjoying it, Goat. A bit faster and more frenetic than my normal pace, it must be said ...

I wonder if you're of the school which thinks that thought/ideation comes before words/language, or the one which thinks that words/language come before thought/ideation? Myself, I'm with very much with the latter. The need, the necessity for the right the specific word. Then meaning and clarity of thought naturally follow on.

The Solitary Walker said...

To Ruth, the last comment - but to anyone really.