We have been taking a couple of short field trips while pet and house sitting here in western County Clare in Ireland. Lisdoonvarna is considered the gateway to the Burren. I had never heard of the Burren before. It is a special area on the west coast of Ireland that was left without topsoil by the ice ages. It is a place of stones, and almost no people. There are prehistoric artifacts and tombs throughout the Burren. We went to a stone ring fort (Catherconnell) that has been settled from the 7th century AD and was used up to the 15th century. Here is a model of what it might have looked like in the past. You can see that there are thick stone walls around the settlement. These walls were made in the simplest way with local stones just stacked up upon themselves. It was fascinating to see how people lived on this land. There are tombs that have been found from the neolithic period (4000-2500 BC). Later, we drove out to this communal tomb called the Poulnabrone dolmen tomb. It was dark, windy and cold when we walked up the stones to see this ancient monument. It was quite moving. It humbled me to see how transitory our lives and problems are in the scope of the sweep of human time. There are dozens of these tombs around, and many more still buried and waiting to be discovered.
If you get to spend some time on the Burren, you will find it fascinating.