Thursday Doors – Irish Bears, the Marble Arch Caves


You might be wondering what on earth an Irish bear is and I don’t blame you – they’ve been extinct for a long time – and what have they got to do with Thursday Doors? The furry animal in the photograph is a replica of a bear cub and the skeleton is that of a mother bear surrounded by some smaller bones, possibly that of her cubs. These were found in the Marble Arch Caves, which are part of a Global Geopark. What makes Geoparks different from designations such as World Heritage Sites is that Geoparks have a commitment to benefit the local economy, through the attraction of visitors to the area and the subsequent creation of jobs and businesses.


These doors lead to the Marble Arch Caves visitor center and from there we can take a tour of one of Europe’s finest showcaves.


Let’s have a closer look at those two men suspended over the cafeteria. One of them is definitely dressed for some cave exploring but the other one looks a bit out of place.



The first one is wearing modern day apparel and equipment but the second one is Frenchman, Edouard Alfred Martel, who was considered in his day to be the world’s leading expert on caves. Modern technology has certainly made it a bit safer and a lot more comfortable to be a cave explorer.


By now, you must be eagerly anticipating that tour of the caves. We started off in a boat on one of the underground rivers that flow through the caves but I was afraid to take a photo in case I dropped my phone into the water. As soon as I reached solid ground again, I whipped my phone from my bag. Unfortunately, my camera could not do justice to the beauty and awesomeness of my surroundings.





But to make up for that, I’ve posted this video from Fermanagh Lakelands.


You can find out more about the history of these amazing caves at Marble Arch Caves and Geopark.

I feel so privileged to have such an area of natural beauty right on my doorstep. If you get a chance to visit, don’t pass it up – it’s well worth the trip. For a variety of Thursday Door posts from around the globe, head on over to Norm’s Blog and see what’s on offer.



About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in Cavan, History, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Thursday Doors – Irish Bears, the Marble Arch Caves

  1. We have some caves north of us, but these are amazing. And, Geopark is pretty interesting in that it contributes to the local economy. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. slfinnell says:

    I wonder if Europeans call cave exploring ‘spelunking’ too? It’s a big thing here in Missouri. I’m not that brave tho. lol I only enter on legit tours with a guide.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sjhigbee says:

    Oh wow! What a treat – thank you so much Jean:))

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Norm 2.0 says:

    Great post Jean.
    I’ve always found caves fascinating but as I get older my desire to go down in to one to explore it, is next to nil.
    I think I’ll let others go and bring back pics instead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jesh stg says:

    Have been in caves, but may be since we watched the agonizing rescue of miners once that took several days, my appetite for anything underground has left. Now I look at underground beauty without having to be there:) So, thank you for seeing it through your eyes in this post:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    These are amazing. Imagine the excitement of discovering the cave. Thank goodness for preservation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan Antion says:

    This is so interesting, Jean. Thanks for bringing us through that door and giving us a little tour. I’ve toured caverns here, and it’s an amazing feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joey says:

    Wow. He really did practically invent everything for caving, didn’t he?
    I live in a place with gobs of caves (and very few bears). I used to cave quite a bit, and even went spelunking once. I am very glad I had these experiences, but now prefer to watch videos and view photos like yours here 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dimlamp says:

    Interesting take for doors. Your photos remind me of our spelunking years ago in the U.S. Lewis & Clark caves.

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. sydspix says:

    I did not know Ireland had caves – just never thought about it. I have been in caves before but never with a boat ride. This placed looks really interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So cool, would love to get a chance to explore these caves if I am ever in the area. Had no idea Ireland ever had bears in the country at any point in time!

    Liked by 1 person

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