A to Z Abroad: Burren Region

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Ireland is famous for green rolling hills as far as the eye can see, but not every corner of Ireland is covered with grass and four-leaf clovers. On the west coast of Ireland, in County Clare is a region known as The Burren. Gray limestone covers the landscape with an interesting array of cracks, cliffs, and crevices.

Geologically speaking, The Burren is one of the largest glacio-karst landscapes in Europe. The limestone foundation was originally created from sediments of a tropical sea about 350 million years ago, while the cracks or “grikes” were formed thanks to a little glacial carving about 10,000 years ago.

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The Burren, County Clare, Ireland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2009

The Burren extends all the way to the ocean, lending its personality the coastal edge of Ireland. No fences or protective barriers make it possible to stand on the edge of Ireland for a view like no other of Galway Bay and the Atlantic. I put my toe right on that edge and looked down!

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The edge of The Burren, Ireland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2009

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The Burren’s ocean view
c.b.w. 2009

While limestone dominates The Burren, the green of Ireland still pokes through the cracks, ever resilient.

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A little green on The Burren
Photo by: c.b.w. 2009

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Part of the A to Z Challenge!

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c.b.w. 2013

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37 thoughts on “A to Z Abroad: Burren Region

  1. Oooh, I can’t wait to watch this alphabet unfold. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pictures. It’s almost as good as being there. Okay, not even close, but it will have to do until I can make the trip myself some day!

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    • You must go! There is something magical about going to a place of ancestry. My sister and I went to Prague a few years back and I really felt like I was at home (my dad’s side of the family comes from that region).

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  2. bronbloxham

    Great post. and photos. Would love to add it to my list of destinations to visit… now only if I could win the lottery to fund my trips!

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  3. Throughout the Burren, visitors from years ago – maybe passing shepherds – took broken-off pieces of limestone and stuck them into cracks in the karst pavement, as if to say “I was here”. Nowadays tourists do it. There’s a famous dolmen on the Burren (Poulnabrone), and there tourists have placed mini-dolmen all around it.

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  4. The Burren may be my favorite area of Ireland. I loved looking for the little patches of wildflowers growing in the cracks of the rocks. It is definitely not the typical image of Ireland. Thanks for the memories!

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