Poulnabrone Dolmen means a dark, sorrowful place or a pit of sorrows. It is a neolithic dolmen dating to 2500 BC. The dolmen stands on limestone pavement at the center of a cairn approximately 30 feet across. The remains of 16 – 22 adults and 6 children were found in the burial chamber and the crevices nearby. The skeletons were de-fleshed, a common practice of the times, and disarticulated. This might have been accomplished by leaving the bodies exposed to the elements.
It is set by itself in the greater landscape of the Burren. The Burren is a vast expanse of limestone known for it’s unusual wildflowers and it’s rather desolate appearance.
From a distance it looks like very little grows in the rocky landscape but it is, in fact, covered in pockets of vegetation. You can hike in the Burren and we did that on another day. However, today, the heaven’s opened and rain poured down as we were leaving.
At the entrance to the path leading up to the Dolmen a jewelry maker had set up his shop. He has been selling his wares there for 15 years. Interesting fellow and we ended up buying a necklace. Quite pretty. He has silver in mostly Celtic symbols and he explains all the pieces if you take the time to listen.
After leaving the Dolmen we headed for the Burren Perfumery. I had read about this place and it is noted for it’s natural products most of which are grown on the site.
All of the roads throughout the Burren are secondary roads. This means they are very narrow with hedges, rock formations, walls, etc. lining the sides. We actually started to enjoy these roads as there are lots of great photo opportunities and you’re traveling slow enough to actually enjoy the landscape. You also don’t meet a lot of cars on these roads. They can lead to an adventure.
By the time we arrived at the Perfumery it was teeming rain outside so we were happy to find an indoor activity. We watched a show 15 minute video on the Burren and then looked at all the products made at the Perfumery. You can take a guided tour of the gardens and they also have soap and candle making demonstrations. We opted to stay indoors that day.
The Perfumery also has a super little cafe that is organic and uses food grown on site as well as on site herbs for flavoring. They were packed that day. We ended up snagging a table and were joined by a couple of people who were part of a Canadian Bicycle Trip. WE were lucky to get the last of a wonderful squash soup and homemade brown bread. the biking group were not really enjoying the weather as they had another 4 or 5 hours to ride in the pouring rain.
Really enjoyed our day on the Burren. Headed back to the hotel and had drinks with a couple from Galway who were hanging out at the bar of the hotel. Tomorrow more archaeological treasures and cliff walks.