NOVEMBER 24

Left Galway and headed south. (Meg headed west to catch her flight.) Had a lovely drive down the coast and got a room in Ballyvaughn, a small town on the edge of the sea. My destination was The Burren - a wild and rugged limestone escarpment that dominates Ireland's west coast. The name is from the Gaelic word Boíreann, which means 'a rocky place'. The Celts built their stone walls (see below) to provide protection to the soil and their grazing farm animals from the Atlantic winds. These amazing walls criss-cross the rugged landscape.

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The rock floor houses a wonder of plant life. In the limestone payment, there are fissures below) are called Grikes which form between blocks of limestone called Clints.  Scattered in pockets - in a dry grassland habitat - are orchids with a variety of grasses, wild thyme and wood sage. Couching in the grikes, out of the drying wind - are mosses and ferns, marshy bedstraw and water mint to name a few.

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I drove for an hour through the area, stopping to sketch along the way. Sun settlng so headed back to hotel. I did stop by The Burren College of Art to see the student exhibition, at the suggestion of the hotel receptionist.

Studios at The Burren College of Art

Studios at The Burren College of Art

A sketch while sitting at a wall

A sketch while sitting at a wall


Dinner of fish and chips with Guinness, of course, back at hotel. The holiday spirit was in the air when a family arrived - children full of giggles with painted faces. My waitress, Perrin commented that they had just been to see Santa! (She is an elf at Santa’s shop as well as working at restaurant). And she is studying at The Burren College of Art - all the way from Oklahoma.

She kindly gave a list of places to visit for Sunday, Although she is 21 years old and I. 67, we are both searching for our artist self. We exchanged emails to keep in touch.