The Cliffs of Moher . . . an awe-inspiring natural monument to God’s flawless sculpting of the Irish islands. These impressive cliffs lace the shoreline of a rocky wasteland in Ireland known as the Burren. They are a photographer’s paradise, and indeed, paradise for anyone who just wants to bask in the glory that is God’s creation.
Well, most of the time you can’t actually do much basking. Our guide told us that he had already driven out to the cliffs five times the week of our tour, and he had only actually seen them once. The typical Irish fog usually renders them all but invisible.
Of course, God is good and the weather was perfect the day of our tour.
Our trip through Galway and County Clare was a perfect break from the bustle of Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. This is the Ireland Josh and I wanted to see. At the end of the day, cities are all the same, but nothing can compare with the splendor of the Irish countryside. Also, Galway was just a more charming city that Dublin in general. I would strongly recommend a visit to the West coast of Ireland should you ever find yourself on the Emerald Isle. Fun fact, it took as a total of two and a half hours to drive from the east coast to the west.
Our bus tour guide on this trip was stereotypically Irish in the sense that he was witty, charming, and irreverent–a real-rough-around-the-edges type guy. His tour was ceaselessly entertaining. He told us a story from Celtic mythology of a goddess who wanted to come to earth to be with her mortal lover. According to legend, she jumped down from heaven in an attempt to reunite with her lover but was dashed to her death against the Cliffs of Moher.
Our guide informed us before we left the bus to enjoy the cliffs that impression of her face can still be seen imprinted on the cliff face. We completely forgot to look for this while we were on the cliffs, so imagine our surprise when we were flipping through our photos on the way home and realized “Whoa! There’s a huge face in this one!”
|Oh, by the way, don’t fall.|
On another morbid note, the cliffs are a very popular suicide location (among the top 20 in the world) for locals and tourists alike. In fact, to counteract this grisly trend, a group of religious do-gooders aptly named The Good Samaritans have made a habit of walking around the cliffs and attempting to talk sense into anyone who seems to be particularly depressed or irrational.
According to our guide, “If ye weren’t depressed when ye got here, you will be by the time one of those buggers is through wit ye.”
|Don’t do it, Josh!|
I think the above picture perfectly captures this (heavily censored) description of the Cliffs of Moher as stated by our friend Andy who comes from Galway:
“It’s the mother-frickin’ edge o’ the world where they make weather and crap!”
I can safely say that I’ve never felt more like I was standing at the edge of the world. Josh was freaking out every time I got anywhere near the edge. He’s going to be a great dad 🙂
Title from “More Than Words” by Extreme.
|Dunguaire Castle still functions today as a medieval banquet hall!|
|This is what a beach looks like in Ireland . . .|
|Poulnabrone Dolmen, an ancient burial site in the middle of the Burren. Can’t believe people used to live there.|
|Bunratty Castle, would’ve been nice to go inside, but we took so long at the cliffs we didn’t have time!|