Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Ireland Days 1-2: Cliffs of Moher

We're back! It feels so good to don a backpack and hit the road again! The plan for this journey is: a week in Ireland and Northern Ireland exploring the west and north coasts, a week in Swansea, Wales, where Erin's grandmother was from, and a few days in Edinburgh, Scotland, where we will fly directly back to Calgary. 

It was a long trip to get here. We did an overnight flight from Calgary to Dublin. Then, we navigated the throes of picking up a rental car (why does it always take forever and cost more than estimated???). We hit the yummy take-away restaurant Erin had found ahead of time, which was directly across the street from a sprawling park and interesting playground. Next, we stopped to pick up groceries, then Craig turned our car west and headed out of the city. Four hours later, we pulled in to the tiny coastal town, Doolin, known for being nestled at the base of the Cliffs of Moher. Exhausted, we tucked in for a 14 hour sleep to recover from our all-nighter and jet lag.

The next morning, we awoke to the quietness of the countryside. The occassional gull could be heard in the distance, along wtih the chirping of some birds. In the distance, the view of the waves crashing along the cliff's edge was calming and inviting. Rain fell in short spurts, musically dancing along our roof and skylight-lit flat.

We headed off around lunch time to find the car park for the Cliffs of Moher. Although the trailhead begins in Doolin town, it was too far for us to consider walking with Adventure Girl. We coughed up the absurd price to park then joined the throngs of people heading towards the walkway. 

The views from the top of the cliffs were spectacular. The cliffs undulate along the water, with each bay offering new vistas to behold. There are several viewoints where you can take in the panorama, but otherwise the path is narrow, with an electric fence on one side, and hoards of tourists on the other so it is not the most relaxing of walks.

The wind was so strong it felt like it could blow us right off our feet. The clouds came and went just as quickly, sometimes smattering us with large raindrops. We left feeling sated with our experience and tired from our hike + jet lag combo. 

We wanted to take advantage of the jet lag and enjoy going to a pub late enough to hear some live music so we strolled down the lane to the local pub on the main street. We were able to secure a table out front and ordered the most Irish things on the menu: Irish beef stew and lamb shank. They were hearty and delcious and Adventure Girl loved the fresh brown bread that accompanied them!  

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