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Walking Along the Precipitous Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Tuesday, August 25, 1998 

I decided to spring for another bus ticket ($15) to get to the Cliffs of Moher. The bus trip went by fairly slow. We got to take a car ferry for 20 minutes too. It turned out that the bus changes drivers (and has a layover of 1 1/2 hours) at the cliffs. This ended up being the perfect amount of time to explore. When I got there, the weather (not the sky) was clear. Then, fog and clouds covered up the cliffs, and then it cleared a half hour later. As I was leaving, the visibility was less than 100 feet. I thought this constant change created an interesting effect.

On the edge at the Cliffs of Moher, IrelandThough I was a little weary, I decided to walk along the edge of the cliffs. It was very exhilarating, and I was proud of myself! It was the first chance on my trip that I got to climb around/up and down rocks. The scene reminded me of Friedrich's “Monk by the Sea,” a very spiritual painting showing man's insignificance in relation to the size and power of nature. I took several pictures, but there is no way they will be able to convey what it felt like to be engulfed in the mist of the Atlantic.

I ended up hopping off the bus in the lower village of Doolin, the unofficial trad music capital of Ireland. I walked down to the shore where I got my first glimpse of the small ferry I would be taking to the Aran Islands. It was being tossed all over by the sea. At this point, I seriously considered changing my plans. I decided to think about it. Then I decided that if I never got the chance to come back, how could I skip these islands. Plus, if I didn't go, I would have to leave Doolin because there would be nothing to do during the day.

On the way back from the coast, I stopped at O'Connor's Pub. This was the first of the two venues for the “world class trad” music I would see. It was populated with a good mixture of locals and tourists. I decided to check out the other pub in the upper village (15 minute walk). McDermott's had about ten to fifteen people (including staff). The decor included signs like “if I wanted to hear an asshole, I would have farted.” The other bar had foreign currencies and police/fire badges on the walls. At this point, I decided to hit O'Connor's for the night. I ended up not getting a seat, as it was crowded, and I was kind of bothered by the fact that they didn't do any singing. I left early, though the music was good (and original too).

Gus O'Connor's Pub in Doolin, Ireland


Read more of my exciting adventures Backpacking in Europe, or view my photos on Flickr.

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