Last year, I didn’t get to the west side of Ireland. Had I had the time, I would have loved to hire a car and meander around the island. I REALLY want to drive on the opposite side of the windy roads here (I almost said the “wrong side”, but that, of course, depends on perspective).
Sadly, we only have 2.5 days before we need to be in Belfast and I don’t think that’s really long enough to meander around the south coast of Ireland. So instead, we hopped on a bus and headed West for a day. Across the whole country and back, in a matter of hours. That feat seems ludicrous to those of us from North America, where it takes a full six days of 12 hour days to get across the country. Though this island is small, it is beautiful and diverse and intoxicating.
We made a quick pit stop at the Barack Obama plaza in Moneygall, where the President apparently has an 8th cousin. Just goes to show, we are all related, if you dig deeply enough. Then onwards to the Cliffs of Moher.
As we neared the coast, the fog got thicker and thicker and thicker. So thick, I wasn’t totally convinced there was actually a cliff at the end of it all. They say in Ireland, that if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. We wandered around the trails for an hour and 15 minutes without a change in the fog. Ultimately, we decided that despite our disappointment in the weather, it was an eerily beautiful way to see the cliffs. Sure enough, just as we were ready to load onto the bus to head back to Dublin, the fog lifted …. after our allotted five minutes (x 15). We sprinted up the hill and the Cliffs of Moher revealed themselves in their full splendour.
We then headed to Galway where I met up with a friend I had met in Antarctica. We had a lovely catch up over a cuppa and then headed out to take a quick walk around Galway. It was a bright, sunny afternoon and the crowds were out. Quay Street, the square and of course, claddagh rings. The story goes, claddagh rings originated in Galway and they are everywhere. Our stop in Galway was only long enough to let me know I need to return to settle in a bit.
We returned to Dublin and were dropped off in front of my favourite donut joint ….. what a day!!