Before leaving for Ireland, we saw some stunning pictures of the Cliffs of Moher and we were told that it was a must see. So after our lunch in Lahinch, we drove up the west coast to the cliffs. But being there with the wind blowing in our faces and seeing the gulls coasting in the updrafts, it was even more beautiful than I pictured it. It was absolutely breathtaking.
The cliffs rise 700 feet up from the sea and vibrant green grass grows over the tops and down the sides of the rock face. It was a dramatic sight, and most certainly an unusual one as grass doesn’t usually grow on cliff walls. Adding to that was the fierce wind, which was swirling the water far below us into massive circles.
We walked north along the cliffs toward O’Brien’s Tower. It was built in 1835 to serve as an observation tower for tourists. Cornelius O’Brien, the brains behind the tower, was a progressive who understood the role of tourism in a struggling economy.
Once we passed the tower, the substantial stone wall gave way to a meager path with only a mound of earth separating us from the drop off. We braved the howling winds that felt like they were going to blow us right off the cliff.
But on the other side of the path was a pasture with precious, fluffy white sheep with skinny black legs.
I want one.
We continued hiking until we ran into a group of Americans who were taking pictures pretty far out on one of the overhangs. They offered to take our picture (though, we didn’t stand as far out on the slab of rock that will one day fall into the sea, it’s just a matter of time) and we ended up chatting with them for a while. We compared stories, gushed about the places we had seen, and we all agreed that this was certainly the most picturesque.
As the sun crept toward the horizon, I told Ted that this is definitely my favorite moment of the trip so far. While I went to Dublin years ago, this is the kind of landscape I picture when I think of the Emerald Isle. Green, vibrant, dramatic, and wind swept. I feel so connected to my ancestral home.