There once was a man from Nantucket…
So firstly. Yay! The bus started today haha. Oh and the weather was especially shit!
Initially it was myself, 3 cool americans and our guide Adam (a young fun dude, even if his music taste was poor to say the least) in the tiniest of tourist coaches leaving Cork at 8am. It was a short 90 minute drive to Limerick (the place renouned for dirty jokes, Angela’s Ashes and around Ireland is known as stab city!). On the way we worked out where we were all from, compared our lives back home and away (The yanks were boston-ites who are on exchange in Rome) and just generally chatted. Once in Limerick we had a quick photo stop at King John’s Castle after Adam had given us the history of the city on the ride in to town, before things got complicated. We caught up with two other buses, both from Dublin, and then it was a matter of making sure you were on the right one going to the Cliffs of Moher (my destination for the day). We found ourselves on a slightly bigger bus (14 people) and a new driver by the name of Jerry.
We then set off through the rolling hills of western Ireland. It was only an hour or so drive, but the landscape was amazing. So Green. So Hilly. So Un-populated. Unlike a lot of bus journeys it was really interesting to just sit and look out the window as the scenery passed by. We stopped initially at a place called the Burren for about 20 minutes. The Burren is best described as a limestone moonscape…erosion from the winds of the Atlantic has meant that there is this really unique environment on this section of coast in County Clare. It really was weird, as you see deep cracks in solid rock, unusual plants and just emptiness…even though it is connected so closely to the landscape described above.
After a lunchstop we were then off to the main attraction. The Cliffs of Moher. It was just as we were arriving at the cliffs that the weather hit its worst. However, unperturbed we walked the length of the cliffs amazed by the sheer drop and the raging sea below. I must say that the most interesting part of the cliffs was this region of the cliffs that had been eroded into almost a cave. It was just weirdly beautiful with the crashing waves and the like. It also reminds me of that cave on the coast from Harry Potter books 6 and 7 LOL. As the weather was so bad we eventually headed in to the visitors centre which had a great exhibition on how the cliffs were formed, the wildlife of the cliffs and a brilliant 3D virtual reality thing-o which took you on a 5 minute trip through the cliffs first from a bird’s view and then from a fish’s view…sounds quite childish but it wasn’t at all and it was surprisingly well put together. Much like the rest of the visitors centre. After finally resisting the urge NOT to buy more fudge, we were back on our way to Limerick where we swapped buses again and Adam drove us back in to Cork.
It probably wasn’t the most “action packed” tour I have done on my travels but it was well organised, the cliffs/burren were amazing to see and also it passed by a lot faster as a result of making ‘friends’ with the americans who meant the bus rides were hardly as taxing as they could’ve been. I can imagine the Cliffs could be more amazing in the summer…but despite having to put up with gale force winds, freezing cold and heavy rain, I think we got to see the ‘true’ Cliffs of Moher – especially as there is a strange enhanced beauty to cliffs when the waves are crashing and the sea is fierce.
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