Torc Waterfall

This is post #10 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill, and

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

The two main things I wanted to see in Ireland were the breathtakingly gorgeous Cliffs of Moher and Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. The park is south and west of the town of Killarney and it has 26,000 acres. You could spend several days there and never see it all! It is an expanse of rugged mountainous country, which includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland rising to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains are the world famous lakes of Killarney.

Leah and I took several hours to visit the park. We were amazed by the canopy of tall trees, the lakes, and the blue-purple mountains. We had a very peaceful time here.

trees in Killarney National Park
trees in Killarney National Park

 

Killarney National Park trees
Killarney National Park trees

 

Killarney Lake
Killarney Lake

 

Killarney National Park mountains
Killarney National Park mountains

 

beautiful park mountains
beautiful park mountains

You can either walk, rent a bike, or ride (for what seemed to be an expensive fee) in what is called a “jaunting cart” with a horse and buggy to Torc Waterfall. The horses were pretty.

jaunting cart
jaunting cart

The falls are about 2.5 kilometres from the car entrance to Muckross House, which is a huge, Tudor-style mansion built in 1843 by the British architect William Burn for Henry Author Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist, Mary Balfour Herbert. It has 65 rooms and in 1932, latter owners William Bourn and his wife, their daughter Victoria and her husband Arthur Rose Vincent presented it and its 11,000 acres estate to Ireland.

Muckross House
Muckross House

 

Tudor-style Muckross House
Tudor-style Muckross House

There’s lots of trails for easy walking or even difficult hiking trails in the park. There are also shuttle buses servicing the area and boat trips/tours.

Leah walking on a trail in Killarney National Park
Leah walking on a trail in Killarney National Park

Leah thought it looked fun to ride a bike, but it’s been years since I’ve ridden one and I didn’t want to take a chance on falling and hurting myself (or her hurting herself!). So we walked, which is good exercise anyway.

Initially, as we approached the area of Torc Waterfall, we saw a sign which read “Torc Waterfall” by a huge rock and a bridge. I thought it looked small, but it was still beautiful and we took pics by it. 

rock & bridge
rock & bridge

 

Leah by waterfall
Leah by waterfall

 

me by waterfall
me by waterfall

 

small waterfall
small waterfall

 

small waterfall in Killarney National Park
small waterfall in Killarney National Park

 

waterfall stream
waterfall stream over rocks

 

waterfall stream
waterfall stream

By the small waterfall, there is a restroom facility and I went in, while Leah stayed outdoors by the small falls. As she waited, suddenly she heard the sound of a violin playing! Leah plays the violin and, intrigued, she walked around the corner to see where the sound was coming from. There was a pretty, red-headed woman in a long gown playing the violin by the waterfall–how quaint! Leah gave her a tip for playing.

pretty, red-headed violinist by Torc Waterfall
pretty, red-headed violinist by Torc Waterfall

Leah looked ahead and saw much bigger falls–the REAL Torc Waterfalls! As I came out of the restroom, she motioned for me to come and see her discovery. As she saw my happy face looking at the beautiful falls, she asked, “Aren’t you glad we didn’t go back yet?” (I had told her after I used the restroom, we should turn back.) I said yes, smiling big.

We both stood and admired the waterfalls for awhile and took pics. I love waterfalls!

The waterfalls are about 20 meters high, and at their best after rainfall.

“And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.”–Revelation 14:2

The real Torc Waterfalls
The real Torc Waterfalls

 

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

 

Leah by Torc Waterfalls
Leah by Torc Waterfalls

 

me by Torc Waterfalls
me by Torc Waterfalls

 

beautiful Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
beautiful Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

 

On the way walking back from the waterfalls, Leah and I saw a pretty, lone deer in a field. We stood and watched it a few minutes.

The Killarney National Park is home to Red Deer, Japanese sika deer, Irish hare, fox, otter, mink, badgers, Bank voles, Pine marten, Lesser horseshoe bats, fish and lamphrey, many species of birds including the Greenland white-fronted goose, reptiles, the rare Northern Emerald dragonfly, the purple hairstreak butterfly, and many other types of fauna.

deer in field
deer in field

“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me on my high places.”–2 Samuel 22:34

In my next post in this Ireland Blog series, I’ll share about seeing the fun town of Killarney, and the beautiful, pristine white B & B which was the only place I did NOT want to stay in Ireland, so stay tuned!

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Galway Girl

This is post #6 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village, and

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“Your feet will bring you where your heart is.”–Irish Proverb

beach in Galway, Ireland
beach in Galway, Ireland

One of my favorite romantic “chic flics” is PS: I Love You, starring Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank. Shortly after Gerry (Gerald) first meets Holly (Hillary), he plays his guitar in a bar and sings to her the fun Irish song Galway Girl.

Gerry & Holly in PS: I Love You
Gerry & Holly in PS: I Love You

I love the song and I couldn’t wait to go to Galway on my and Leah’s first trip to Ireland. I just had a feeling it would be a fun place, and it was! Galway was Leah’s and my favorite city in Ireland!

Leah, being a violinist, loved all the street musicians. We are definitely a “Galway Girl”!

One young man played the guitar in the town center and he was amazing. We stood and listened for awhile. He reminded me of the musical prodigy in the movie August Rush.

Galway guitarist
Galway guitarist

Unfortunately, when Leah came home and tried to transfer her pics and videos to her computer, she lost all her street musician videos! She was so frustrated with herself (thank goodness, she didn’t lose her photos! She took over 600!). I told her we’ll just have to go back so she can video them again. We both want to return to gorgeous Ireland!

We stayed at the lovely Abbeyville B & B in Freeport Barna, Co. Galway, owned by Bernadette, who is an artist. I deliberately chose this B & B, as our daughter Leah is an amazing, self-taught artist. All the B & B’s we stayed at in Ireland were very clean and neat, which I loved and was so thankful for!

wall art
wall art

 

art from B & B owner in Galway
art from B & B owner in Galway

 

Abbeyville B & B, Galway
Abbeyville B & B, Galway

 

Abbeyville bathroom
Abbeyville bathroom

When Leah was three years old, she would lay on her tummy and color and draw with crayons. When she was older, my husband Ray bought her a graphic art tablet. I homeschooled her throughout the twelve years of her education, and Leah honed her craft and now is enrolled in a digital art, online college program to achieve her Bachelor’s degree.

Leah enjoyed talking with the owner Bernadette about her art, some of which she has displayed locally. I believe this was a Divine appointment from God, as Bernadette encouraged Leah to pursue her art interest and to display and sell it online! Leah does have her own online store here.

Driveway at Abbeyville
Driveway at Abbeyville

One unique technique that Bernadette enjoys painting with is melted bee’s wax. She showed us some of her projects, and they were beautiful, textured with vibrant colors. 

I was so proud of Leah doing her classwork even as we were vacationing in Ireland! While she worked on her homework, I sat outside at a glass patio table. I admired the gorgeous blooming flowers and the lush, green plant life and trees everywhere, journaled, and created my first video in Ireland. I’ll upload it later and add the link here! It felt surreal to be in Ireland!

Beautiful fresh flowers
Beautiful fresh flowers

 

Journaling outside
Journaling outside

All the B & B’s provided coffee pots/tea makers in the room. Leah made us tea, with our cookies. One way we saved money in Ireland was to buy groceries sometimes, instead of eating out at restaurants.

At the grocery store, Leah bought a sandwich, sour cream and onion potato chips, and a chocolate mint bar, and I got a salad, salt and vinegar potato chips, and a Galaxy chocolate bar, which was delicious Irish chocolate!

Pubs are often more reasonably priced than the restaurants, so we frequently ate lunch at the pubs. This was fun. You’ll find pubs in almost every town, even the remote places. Some of the pubs play live music. They all offer alcohol, including the infamous Guinness beer (which neither Leah or I tried! I hate beer!)

The King’s Head is a famous, 800-year-old historic pub in Ireland.  It is supposedly the building given as payment to Richard Gunning for beheading King Charles I. No, we didn’t eat there!

The King's Head pub
The King’s Head pub

 

Deli/grocery
Deli/grocery

 

Chips and chocolate
Chips and chocolate

Bernadette served a wonderful, full Irish breakfast, which included delicious home-made scones with jam. Leah and I enjoyed having a French press coffee maker just for us at our table.

Fresh fruit & yogurt
Fresh fruit & yogurt

 

French press coffee maker
French press coffee maker

Bernadette was such a friendly, welcoming hostess. She encouraged us to go view the Atlantic Ocean on Salthill Promenade. I’d already read before coming to Ireland that parking was a big problem, especially in big cities, but on this busy street there is free parking on the side of the road! 

The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean

 

Galway beach
Galway beach

 

The Atlantic, Galway
The Atlantic, Galway

It was overcast and windy, and it began to sprinkle, so the cute, comfortable, and practical raincoats I’d bought me and Leah came in handy that day. I found my blue, gently used one for only $7.99 at a thrift store and got Leah’s navy blue one on sale at Amazon. We got some great pics of each other by the ocean. It was very peaceful there.

The Atlantic Ocean beach
The Atlantic Ocean beach

 

big rocks on Galway beach
big rocks on Galway beach

Leah couldn’t believe that people were actually swimming in the water and said the water must be cold. 

In the pic below, you can see a swimmer behind me in the water, staring at the camera. Leah gets upset with me for taking photos of random people, but they often make the best pics!

In the other pic, I love how the woman’s sneakers made footprints on the wet sand as she walked. It reminds me of the poem Footprints.

Swimmer in ocean
Swimmer in ocean

 

Leah at beach in Galway in her rain jacket
Leah at beach in Galway in her rain jacket

 

me in my blue rain jacket in Galway on the beach
me in my blue rain jacket in Galway on the beach

 

Random woman walking on the beach in Galway
Random woman walking on the beach in Galway

I thought these pictures of Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean were poignant and powerful. She also took one of me, without me knowing about it. 

Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland
Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland

 

Leah looking at the ocean on Salthill Promenade
Leah looking at the ocean on Salthill Promenade

 

Leah walking on the beach
Leah walking on the beach

 

me looking out at Atlantic ocean in Galway
me looking out at Atlantic ocean in Galway

The beach is my place of peace and refilling. Leah liked the seagulls on the beach; she loves any kind of animal.

The ocean is my place of peace.
The ocean is my place of peace.

 

seagull on Galway beach
seagull on Galway beach

Leah and I saw a telescope on the sidewalk and looked through it to see a ship and an island across the ocean, which had houses. The telescope cost a couple of Euros coins, like parking does in most places. 

Leah putting Euro coins in telescope
Leah putting Euro coins in telescope

 

Leah looking through telescope
Leah looking through telescope

We ate a delicious sidewalk cafe in Galway called The Quay Street Kitchen that I’d read great reviews about, where Leah tried her first Irish fish and chips (she liked it). This was one of the funnest, most peaceful times we had there, eating delicious food and people-watching in Galway.

Our waiter was brand new, and did a fabulous job waiting on us. At the table right next to us, a young couple dined together. In the background on the sidewalks Irish music played, which Leah noted. 

It again felt surreal, to be eating at an outdoor cafe in Ireland! I felt so happy sitting there with my sweet, beautiful daughter Leah. God is so good!

The Quay Street Kitchen
The Quay Street Kitchen

When I visit Ireland again (I am praying to go back!), I would love to stay in Galway several days. I wanted to stay in Galway much longer, but it was beginning to rain so Leah suggested that we leave to drive to our next B & B.

In my next post in this Ireland blog series, I’ll share more about Galway’s town center.

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The gorgeous Cliffs of Moher

This is post #5 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts #1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,  #2, Ireland: Dreams Come True#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland, and #4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“I love Ireland. I feel very at peace there. It’s just magical and beautiful.”–Eva Green

My precious daughter Leah & I at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Dreams DO come true!

Dreams DO come true! I’d been praying for years to go to Ireland, and one of the reasons I wanted to go to Ireland was to see the Cliffs of Moher. They are GORGEOUS! The cliffs were the highlight of the trip for Leah and me both.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

 

Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

 

My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A lady offered to take our pic together.
My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A lady offered to take our pic together.

You often see the Cliffs of Moher in pictures of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher are breathtakingly beautiful sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland by the Atlantic Ocean. They run for about 14 kilometres. It’s a rare example of sedimentary basin, rock formations that are normally only visible under the sea.

The Cliffs of Moher have a rare rock formation that's usually only visible under the sea.
The Cliffs of Moher have a rare rock formation that’s usually only visible under the sea.

At their southern end, they rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and, eight kilometres to the north, reach their maximum height of 702 feet just north of O’Brien’s Tower. The closest settlements are Liscannor and Doolin.

Leah and I stayed in a B & B near Doolin one night, but we went to the cliffs the second day of our trip, after staying in Galway (our fave city there!).

The Cliffs of Moher--God is good!
The Cliffs of Moher–God is good!

Movies have been made near the Cliffs of Moher, such as The Princess Bride, Leap Year, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (just FYI, I don’t watch Harry Potter movies. I have seen The Princess Bride, but not Leap Year. It looks good, though, so I’ll have to check it out!)

Tears filled my eyes as I looked out at the cliffs. God answers prayer!

cave in Cliffs of Moher
cave in Cliffs of Moher

 

me at the Cliffs of Moher
me at the Cliffs of Moher

There’s LOTS of steps at the Cliffs of Moher. Before we flew to Ireland, I bought Leah and me some good, hiking/walking boots. They were expensive, but one of the best investments I made for our trip as we did lots of walking.

You’ll want good hiking/walking boots or shoes for your trip wherever you go, because you don’t want your feet hurting being on vacation. We needed them this day at the Cliffs of Moher. We got the same kind at an athletic store in Belton, MO for about $75. They were extremely comfortable and waterproof (get the waterproof kind!). 

Leah's hiking boots
Leah’s hiking boots

Hag’s Head is the name of the most southerly point of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, where the cliffs form an unusual rock formation that resembles a woman’s head looking out at the sea. It is associated with a legend, as many places do in Ireland. The story is that an old hag or sea-witch, Mal of Malbay, fell in love with the Irish hero, Cu Chulainn, and chased him across Ireland.  He escaped by hopping across sea stacks. Mal, not being as nimble, lost her footing and she was dashed against the cliff.

Hag's Head at Cliffs of Moher
Hag’s Head at Cliffs of Moher

 

Hag's Head
Hag’s Head
Hag’s Head, County Clare

O’Brien’s Tower marks the highest point of the cliffs. It was built on the cliffs in 1835 by Sir Cornellius O’Brien as an observation tower for the Victorian visitors to the cliffs. It’s said to have initially served as a teahouse with a round table. Another version says he built it to impress the women he was courting. You can pay a fee to climb the stairs to go up the tower for an incredible view. Neither Leah or I wanted to do that.

There was a man playing an instrument at the cliffs, with a dog beside him. Street musicians are commonly seen all over Ireland, which Leah loved (she plays the violin beautifully).

O'Brien's Tower at Cliffs of Moher
O’Brien’s Tower at Cliffs of Moher

 

musician at Cliffs of Moher & O’Brien’s Tower

 

Visitors at Cliffs of Moher
Visitors at Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher Visitors Center was built into the cliffs and opened in February 2007. This includes exhibits with interactive media covering the geology, history, flora and fauna of the cliffs. A large multimedia screen displays a bird’s-eye view from the cliffs, as well as video from the underwater caves below the cliffs. There are also two cafés and several shops. Leah and I ate lunch in one of the cafes. 

There are glass windows where you can look outside the cafe at the beautiful cliffs. I saw that many visitors just bought a sandwich or something and ate it outside in the sunshine, having a little picnic.

Eating lunch at the cafe was very relaxing for Leah and me. She had tried the sweet potato soup on our first night in Ireland at Bunratty Castle hotel’s pub, and liked it so she ordered this. I simply had “chips” (French fries), haha! They are so good!

Cliffs of Moher cafe where Leah & I ate lunch
Cliffs of Moher cafe where Leah & I ate lunch

 

Leah's sweet potato soup & my "chips" for lunch
Leah’s sweet potato soup & my “chips” for lunch

We talked about getting the rich-looking chocolate cake or another dessert, but decided to wait. I had told Leah that I’d seen videos on YouTube of people talking about Ireland’s delicious ice cream cones. Leah said it was making her want one, so we found several stores along the way on our trip where they sold it.

Leah wanted to know how I was able to so quickly identify the stores where the ice cream cones were sold. They have giant, plastic ice cream cones outside. The ice cream is amazing! They put a chunk of chocolate inside the ice cream—yum!

plastic cone sign
plastic cone sign

 

Ireland's delicious ice cream cone
Ireland’s delicious ice cream cone

However, we did get coffee and took it outside with us to go look at the Cliffs of Moher again. I thought these pics of Leah and me with our coffee were great! This time, we walked further along the cliffs.

Leah with her coffee at the Cliffs of Moher
Leah with her coffee at the Cliffs of Moher

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me with my coffee at the Cliffs of Moher
me with my coffee at the Cliffs of Moher

There’s a sign on a fence that warns visitors of danger as they are now leaving the visitor center’s grounds. 

Warning sign
Warning sign

Near this sign was a couple who were vendors, selling jewelry. Leah bought her souvenir there–a unique necklace. The couple was a little strange, but I was happy that Leah got her souvenir! She wore the necklace throughout her trip. I think it looks great on her!

Leah's souvenir necklace
Leah’s souvenir necklace

We climbed over a fence like many people did to get closer to the edge of the cliffs–but not too close! Some people were walking or SITTING on the very edge of the cliffs, which made me a little nervous. I didn’t want them to fall off. I was proud of Leah for going over the fence, as she has a fear of heights and conquered it.

In fact, she conquered many fears going on this trip, having never flown on an international plane or going out of the US before. What fear do you need to overcome through faith in Jesus Christ?

Ferry, boat, and plane trips allow visitors to get closer to the cliffs for a fee. The Cliffs of Moher charge 8 Euros, unless you buy discount tickets online. It has ample parking space just outside the cliffs. 

Looking over the edge of the cliffs is a little scary!
Looking over the edge of the cliffs is a little scary!

One unique rock formation is Branaunmore, standing 67 metres high. Once part of the Cliffs, it was separated by erosion.

Cliffs of Moher rock formation
Cliffs of Moher rock formation

The cliffs consist mostly of shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks at the bottom of the cliffs.  At peak season, there are an estimated 30,000 pairs of birds living on the cliffs, which include Atlantic puffins. Leah and I never saw any puffins, but did see lots of white birds flying around the cliffs, likely sea gulls. You can also possibly see grey seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales, sharks, and sunfish near the cliffs. 

Atlantic puffin
Atlantic puffin

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland was a big dream come true, one of the most important items on my bucket list. I’m so happy that God answered my prayers and that Leah and I were able to go to Ireland together! We both had fun and loved it, and want to go back!

I could have stayed hours longer there, but it was getting cloudy and I wanted to get to our B & B before it possibly rained. I highly recommend visiting the Cliffs of Moher if you go to Ireland, and to plan several hours’ stay there.

me at Cliffs of Moher
me at Cliffs of Moher

 

My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A lady offered to take our pic together.
So thankful–My precious beautiful daughter Leah & me at the Cliffs of Moher. A huge answered prayer!

 

Cliffs of Moher
The awesome Cliffs of Moher

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share about us going to Galway, our favorite city in Ireland–it’s so fun! Stay tuned!

Me at Cliffs of Moher--so happy! <br/>Thank You, Jesus!
Me at Cliffs of Moher–so happy!
Thank You, Jesus!

 

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