Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Traveling Feet Shownotes
Traveling Feet - May 30, 2009 - Shownotes & Audio Archive

McHugh's Bar in Liscannor, Ireland; The Burren Centre in Kilfenora; Cliffs of Moher in the Running for the 7 New Wonders; Properties from Atlantis Holiday Group on Ireland's West Coast; Green Dragon Arrives in Galway Bay; Doolin Ferries Provides Fast Trips to the Aran Islands; Doolin Cave in County Galway and Much to See in County Clare.

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

Stephanie is broadcasting live from McHugh's Bar in Liscannor, Ireland. It was formerly a grocery store/bar established by proprietor Joseph McHugh. The bar is also the birthplace of the Irish-born inventor of the submarine, John Philip Holland. Locals are currently working to develop a heritage museum built around Holland's life and work. Stephanie recently visited the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and Ulster American Folk Park, the later of which explores the immigration story of the Irish to America.

Click here to see pictures of the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh.

Stephanie once again recommends Ireland's only independent car rental company, Dooley Car Rental. It is a family owned and operated business and is completely upfront with its pricing. Stephanie ran into an American couple who rented from a brand name car company. They paid an exorbitant amount. The couple also found driving on the opposite of the road disconcerting. Stephanie advises to always have your right shoulder adjacent to the center of the road. She says it will keep your oriented.

For more information visit

Kilfenora is a small village in County Clare at the south edge of the Burren. The Burren is an area in Clare known for its geology as well as its flora and fauna. The landscape is comprised of weathered limestone and has been compared to a lunar surface.

In 2000 a visitor's centre was opened in Kilfenora. The United Kingdom's government allocated 1 million euros for the development of the Burren Centre. The newly developed visitor's centre now has an interactive display called “A Walk Through Time”. There is also a local craft shop on site and a tea room.

Kilfenora has two monasteries affiliated with it. Unlike Europe, Irish cathedrals were not constructed with stained glass windows. Instead giant crosses were erected on sites and bible stories were etched in stone. One example of this kind of artistry is found at the Kilfenora Cathedral. One million pounds has recently been given to the church to insure the preservation of the cathedral, crosses and cemetery in Kilfenora.

For more information visit

Stephanie comments that you can't come to County Clare without going to the Cliffs of Moher. It is one Ireland's foremost tourist attractions and is also Ireland's nomination for one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The nominees in this global contest will remain in competition for another year. The Cliffs of Moher needs to remain in the top 11 in its category (seascapes) until July 7, 2009 in order to stay in the running. The Great Barrier Reef is also in the seascapes category so the competition is obviously stiff. The contest organizers expect a billon people to vote online.

Visit to vote for the Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher is reopening Brian's Tower this week after months of restoration work. The tower stands over 700 feet above the Atlantic ocean and is the original visitor's centre for the cliffs. It was built in 1835 as a viewing point for visitors. The Cliffs of Moher is the nearest thing to an island within an island. It has the Atlantic Ocean to it west, the Shannon River running along the south and Shannon Estuary, Loch Derg also adjacent.

For more information visit

Hotelier Becky Flanagan is American born but came to Ireland to a study abroad during college and never left. She met and fell in love with her husband while working at his bed and breakfast. The two have since expanded that property into the 4 Star Ballyvara House and added several others properties which now make up the Atlantis Holiday Group.  In addition to hotel accommodations, the list of properties in the collection also includes Joseph McHugh's Bar.

The Atlantis Holiday Group has scenic properties in County Kerry, County Clare and County Galway, Ireland, all of which specialize in great personalized service. The hotels are located all along Ireland's rugged west coast and are centrally located within their given regions.

The Ballyvara House is located in the outskirts of Doolin and Atlantis' Tir Gan Ean House Hotel is in the heart of the town. Just north of Doolin is the Burren Coast Hotel which is close the Burren National Park in County Clare. The most recent addition to the group is the Peacockes Hotel in Maam Cross, County Galway.

For more information visit

Fun Facts:

Tir Gan Ean means both “land with birds” and “land without rabbits.

On June 3, 2009 Dublin Ireland's sunrise is at 5:02am. The sunset is at 9:41pm.

Guests Include:

Tom Pigott, Local musician and Tour Operator, McHugh's Pub, Liscannor, Ireland.

Father Joseph Roche, Priest, The Burren Centre.

Katherine Webster, Director, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.

Rebecca Flanagan, Co-owner, Atlantis Holiday Group. General Manager, Ballyvara House and Tir gan Ean House Hotel.

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Ericsson Ship Volvo Ocean Race. Click here to see more.
Image of Ericsson Ship at 2009 Volvo Ocean Race Arriving in Galway on May 25, 2009. Click here for more images of the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet in Galway.

Stephanie plays audio taken early Sunday morning on May 25th when the Volvo Ocean Race had just arrived in Galway. She spoke briefly to the Mayor of the city of Galway at 5am. City officials, press and the general public gathered around the bay at 2am to await the Irish Green Dragon's arrival. The crowd sang songs and cheered for the Irish team as the ship arrived at its home port.

For more information visit

Doolin Ferries provides the fastest crossing day cruises to the Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are located on the west coast of Ireland at the edge of Galway Bay. Bill O'Brien established the ferry company in 1970 and operations have since expanded to include 4 ferries, each which holds 100 people.

The ferries travel to all three of the Aran Islands as well as alongside the Cliffs of Moher. Stephanie remarks that it must be amazing to look up at the 700 feet cliffs. Passengers can also view different specifies of birds that nest in the cliffs. Ferries make passages to the islands on the hour and travel underneath the cliffs three times a day. The Aran Islands have some of the earliest human settlements in the country.

For more information visit

Doolin Cave in County Galway has been open to the public for the last three years as part of a tourism project in north Clare. The cave has the largest stalactite in the Northern hemisphere. It is 27 feet long and the average length of a stalactite is only 5 feet. The cave was discovered 1952 by speleologists from Bristol University that were exploring the underneath of the limestone area of the Buren.

Visitors to the cave park and ride from the Riverside Restaurant in Doolin Village. The guests (wearing helmets) climb down an 80 foot stairway and travel through a narrow and low passage before entering a massive chamber. Groups are kept small. The cost for an adult is 13.50 euros but discounts are offered to families and groups.

For more information visit

County Clare is a must see for a visitor to Ireland. The area form Liscanoor to Ballyvarna on the country's west coast is arguably its most magnificent drive.  The secretary for the Clare Tourist Council, Patrick Blake, recommends driving through the Burren at night. Now is the time to come to Ireland. The weather is consistently around 80 degrees and there is 17 hours of daylight. Stephanie has seen very little rainfall on her most recent trip.

For more information

The Atlantis Holiday Group is comprised of hotels, holiday homes, apartments, guest houses and other projects currently in development. In Galway, the group's properties are located in the heart of the stunning Connemara area. In addition to beautiful landscape the county has its share of interesting trivia. Parts of John Wayne's 1952 film The Quiet Man were filmed in County Galway and County Clare.

For more information

Fun Facts:

Some of the settlements on the Aran Islands are as old as the pyramids.

Stalactites hang from a cave ceiling. Stalagmites rise from a cave floor.

Stephanie took a picture inside the replica of the famous thatched cottage that is seen in “The Quiet Man”. It is located at Maam Cross, County Galway, Ireland.

During the scene in “The Quiet Man” where John Wayne first kisses Maureen O'Hara she slaps his face. When he blocked the blow, O'Hara broke a bone in her hand. The movie was being filmed in sequential order and the actress couldn't wear a cast during the time of filming.

Guests Include:

Padraig Conneely, Mayor, Galway City, Ireland.

Bill O'Brien, Founder, Doolin Ferries & O'Brien Line.

Helen Brown, Guide, Doolin Cave.

Patrick Blake, Secretary, Clare Tourist Council.

John Flanagan, Co-owner, Atlantis Hotel Group, Ireland.

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