Day Six began with a hike up the Cliff of Moher. 702 feet at their highest point and five miles long, they are prominently featured as the Cliffs Of Insanity in The Princess Bride. They, however, presented me with a major source of anxiety. My first problem was the weather: this was high on the list of things my daughter wanted to do and it is not uncommon to find the weather so wild that there isn't much to see. Considering she was paying for the entire trip, I was concerned that the outing would be a bust and she would regret the entire trip, the expense, bringing her mom along, the whole nine yards. My second concern was whether or not I would be able to make the climb. Two climbs, actually. When you arrive, there is a paved path to the right as can be seen above, and a dirt path to the left which follows along, in and out, as seen in the photo below. We chose left.
Below is Mary on the wall with a view of the path to the right--next to her, in the distance, is O'Brien's Tower, an ancient look out building. (She destroyed the shoes she is wearing later that day in the clay mud of Doolin Cave.)
As we climbed higher and higher, the view changed. And our heads swiveled, back and forth. This is to the left, again.
To the right again. The weather was wonderful but not perfect. Mist and clouds did interfere with the possibility of sparkling photos.
To the left again.
We only had a few hours to spend at the cliffs so once we got to the first peak (a feat I was gobsmacked to have accomplished) we walked down and went up the paved path along the cliffs to the right. This is a view from there--but not back to where we had been--off further right again.
And then back to the left from the cliffs on the right.
And the right again (why do I feel like an opthamologist?)
We were thrilled to have free wifi at the top of the cliffs. We had trouble getting online for pretty much the entire trip. After we arrived back at the bottom and boarded the coach, we rode to the Doolin Cave. We had to walk down a few steps to get through the entrance but that was nothing compared to the 100 steps we had to descend before there was anything of interest to see. I worried a bit about those same steps on the way up but I had done both sides of the cliffs so I figured I would survive. (I did, but just barely.)
Our group split in half and Mary and I were part of the second group. This left us some free time to wander around a bit before we entered the cave and enjoy the countryside.
Detail of the above picture using the photo shop dry brush feature.
Below is the longest stalactite that has been discovered and what we came to see. By this time into the trip, I had used over 80% of the photo space I had available on my camera and we were only half way into our trip, so, I was very conservative with my photo taking. I decided I could look at pics online, all of them sure to be better than mine, if I had a yearning to refresh my memories as to the cave.
I was not so frugal with my pics of things that interested me more, however. An internet search of castles in Co. Clare did not yield the name of this ruin which was very far into the distance (this one features a dry brush treatment).
Below is a photo of a house I took that has been given the paint daubs treatment via photo shop.
After we left the cave, we headed for The Burren, which is a huge area of rocky ground. We visited a smoked salmon facility (so not my cup of tea) and then we headed for The Dolmen, an ancient burial site. HERE is a link to photos of it--it was too wet to get out my camera. I donned my rain poncho for the first and only time we were in Ireland and we headed out to see the Dolmen. Of far more interest to me was the man, dressed in a long wool hooded cloak, seated under a large umbrella at a table. He made items out of the Ogham alphabet by pounding into metal. Mary got a necklace with her name on it--just a series of lines that one reads from bottom to top. What fascinated me was the fact that he was out in such inclement weather. I suppose one gets used to the rain there. We were so lucky to have such great weather at the Cliffs of Moher.
When we got back to the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, everything was calm and lovely again. We headed out for Dunne's, our favorite Irish chain store, in search of some food for dinner (apples, gluten free Jaffa cakes and Magnum ice cream bars--we went all the way to Ireland and didn't even go inside a single pub--what were we thinking?) and new shoes for Mary to wear for the duration of our stay. Next time: some of my favorite photos of our trip and probably our favorite day of the trip--Galway Cathedral, the beauties of Connemara, and Cong, the quaint Irish town where The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed.
This entry was posted on Monday, September 8, 2014 at Monday, September 08, 2014 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .