I’m off to sit on a cliff. -Nik Kershaw
We woke up to a nice break in the weather. Partly-cloudy (and it turned out to be mostly sunny) and warmer than forecasted –so we decided we might as well make the trip to the Cliffs of Moher, which were definitely a “must do” for this trip. Our GPS was on the “best case scenario” setting when it came to the predicted arrival time. It was supposed to be a 1.5 hour trip –but it took at least 2 hours. The reason is because the roads are narrow and winding and it was hard to drive more than 30-40 mph most of the time. Mike kept shaking his head because the speed limit through those roads was mostly posted at 60! He thought only locals or visitors with nerves of steel would feel comfortable going that fast.
We saw such lovely scenery – it was impossible to photograph it all. Driving in Ireland really is a visual feast. It was also nice to see the sun shining. Although I might have to admit that there’s also a lovely aspect to Ireland seen in pelting rain too.
Just a castle on the way to the cliffs… Dunguaire Castle, built in the 1500s…
As we pulled up to the parking lot for the Cliffs, there was already a bit of a traffic backup from both directions, but we weren’t too far back. When we made it to the front of the line, the attendant said we’d have to wait up to an hour for entry. It looked like they were repaving part of the parking lot, which probably created an extra parking headache.
We’d come too far to give up, so we said we’d wait. It turned out that we were able to get through the ticket booth and parked in less than 5 minutes, which was a relief.
The Cliffs are about 10 miles long and are 702 feet at their highest point. They are not over-done by any means. By that – I mean the grounds are mostly natural.
After we parked and followed the pedestrian route out of the lot to cross the street to enter the viewing area, the first thing Laura said was… What? No gift shop? She was happily surprised to see that there was indeed a gift shop (plus restaurant and restrooms) hidden away off to one side, built into the side of a hill.
For Mike and me –it was a fabulous experience simply to see the Cliffs on a sunny day. Our last visit was quite dramatic with high winds and nearly sideways rain. All four of us took our time and walked along the viewing areas. O’Brien’s tower was under scaffolding, which was a disappointment since I would have liked Laura and Gail to see it. It was built in 1835 as an observational tower and looks a bit like a mini-castle -not that you could tell today with it wrapped up like a mummy.
We all took a ton of pictures and enjoyed the beauty of the cliffs, the sea and the day in general.
Our next stop was Doolin, which is just a few miles from the Cliffs. On the way we saw another castle, Doonagore. It was built in the 1500s.
Over the bridge to Doolin.
Doolin claims to be the capitol of traditional Irish music. Our sister Amy went to Ireland several years ago and stopped in Doolin for lunch at Gus O’Connor’s Pub as part of her Cliffs of Moher tour. She has said ever since that O’Connor’s is the best place for fish and chips. So, we had no choice but to take her advice and stop in for lunch. I don’t eat fish, so I had chicken tenders, but everyone else tried the fish and chips. There were 2 out of 3 thumbs up on the fish and chips.
The trip back to Galway seemed to take less time, thankfully. It still pretty much took the whole day to visit the Cliffs. After we got back to the hotel, Laura wanted to go to her room for a bit and Mike and I wanted to visit a pub I’d noticed the day before on one corner of Eyre Square.
We walked into Darcy’s and it was nearly empty for that time of day. We had a fun bartender and he said if we wanted a tab we’d have to give him a credit card to hold. We did…and he put it in a “safe” spot above the register. We made a couple of jokes about the card not wanting us to spend too much –stuff like that. So, the bartender took a piece of paper and wrote… ORDER MORE!…and wrapped it around the card and joked that now the card couldn’t see what we were up to.
It worked! We bought more!
Laura and Gail joined us there.
After a few more refreshments, we decided to walk toward the shopping area and look for something to eat. None of us was especially hungry after our big lunch in Doolin, so we ended up just having ice cream for dinner.
This statue is of Oscar Wilde and Eduard Vilde. Although the two never met in real life, they were both famous in their respective countries in the late 1800s. Vilde was from Estonia and this statue, by an Estonian sculptor, was a gift to Ireland in 2001 in recognition of the friendship between the two countries. It is a copy of the original, which is in Tartu, Estonia.
Categories: The Cliffs of Moher