The Burren on the West coast of Ireland is a unique limestone landscape. The thin soil was probably already lost in prehistoric or early historic times and left the lime stone pavement with its cracks exposed
However, it has a rich and varied flora, and since it is early summer it is flowering everywhere; here you can see a wild orchid:
Due to the constant wind the trees are adopting strange forms like this one:
But of course we didn't go into the Burren to admire nature, instead we went to see Killinaboy Church with its famous Sheela na gig, a grotesque symbol of fertility that are mostly found on romanesque churches. Killinaboy was constructed in the 16th or 17th century, however, it was built on the remains of a 12th century church.
We then went on to Kilfenora, where the principle church of the diocese of Kilfenora was established (in the 12th century). It is famous for its high crosses from this time period:
Corconreo abbey is a Cestercian abbey founded in the late 12th century. It has beautiful architecture, although it sometimes appeared that the masons or architects just wanted to try everything, carved, incised, floral designs, humans, animals, everything is present, including different kind of arches and corbelled structures, some suddenly stopped midway.
We had lunch at the wonderful and recently opened 'An Fulacht Fia' which is the name of a prehistoric cooking place. If you ever happen to be in this area don't miss the oppotunity to have lunch or dinner at this stylish restaurant...their homebaked bread is heavenly and the view (the Atlantic) is fantastic, too.
After lunch we went to a spectacular stone-built 8th century cashel or hillfort, the site of Cahercommaun. This is what it looked like
and that is what is left of its splendid stone-wall enclosures.
And the best for last, a Portal Dolmen with 20 burials from 3800 to 3200 BC, called Poulnabrone.