After a leisurely breakfast we headed out for a walk around this part of Limerick. First to the Hunt Museum. This is a small private museum of the eclectic collections of John and Gertrude Hunt, antique dealers and advisors to collectors, and has a wide variety of items and covers periods from the 12th century BC right through to the present. Well worth the visit to see some of the finer points of Irish history, not just the remains and restored castles and towers that seem to be everywhere as a result of a past of constant fighting between multiple groups and countries.With Ireland being a strong Catholic country, the religious section of the museum held some interesting items and stories. small string of Rosary beads with a ring attached that hung in an abbey. When a couple were too poor to purchase a wedding ring, they removed this ring from the beads, used it for the ceremony and then returned it to the beads. Another item was a silver coin, rumoured to be one of the thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas for the betrayal of Jesus. True or false, maybe maybe not but sometimes, that can be what history is all about.
The collection also included a Picasso and a Renoir painting and was currently displaying a collection of paintings by artists Jack Yeats and Paul Henry.
Off again and we crossed a footbridge to enter an area through an arch marked The Potato Market, no not now, just a car park. Then to the St. Mary's Cathedral, the oldest and most historic building in daily use in Limerick; 900 years of constant use. Interestingly, from the outside it appeared more castle and darker than you would expect from a cathedral. Inside was also interesting as it was built in a time when construction methods required considerable columns and arches to support the building.
Then a walk around King John's Castle built on the banks of the Shannon River in 1197. A large castle looking in good condition externally. We didn't go in,more things to do today.
Loaded up we headed for Shannon Airport and the Europcar returns depot, still at 80km/h,which wasn't making either me of the following drivers very happy. It appeared the thermostat had stuck once and for all. No worries, a swap over and we are now the temporary "owners" of a near new Ford Focus only 4000klms on the clock. Nice car, still tight but hasn't got all the bells and whistles of the Skoda but hopefully, hasn't got the problems either.
Travelling north-west we headed for the Cliffs of Moher with the weather very overcast. Thankfully it held off because at certain times of the year, the cloud closes in so much that you can virtually see nothing. Just short of the cliffs, we chanced on the Shrine of Saint Brigid's Well. Apparently this is one of the most visited Holy Wells in Ireland and people have been visiting it for centuries.
The Cliffs of Moher are an impressive sight and form the coastline for about 5 klms. The visiting area is very commercial with a visitors center and 6 specialty shops. Good facilities in the manner of walks provide good access to viewing points and I'm sure on a bright sunny day, they would be a magnificent sight. Even in the cloudy, windy and light rain they are still impressive and of course even have the usual tower except this one was built in 1835 as a viewing point for tourists.
A leisurely drive from Moher through small towns and along mostly two-laned walled roads saw us roll into Galway about 6:00pm.