The Cliffs of Moher are in every commercial for Ireland’s tourism and probably what most people think of when they think of Ireland’s natural wonders. Our tour started with a ferry ride to visit the Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are a chain of three islands, Inis Mor, Inishmaan, & Inisheer. Inisheer is the island that we had the opportunity to spend 2 hours exploring. Again the Lord blessed us with fantastic weather; the seas were very calm, with very little wind and lots of sunshine, which made the thirty minute boat ride very enjoyable. When we arrived on the island we took a guided horse and cart tour of the island. We stopped at an old cargo ship that was shipwrecked in 1960 and has been pushed up on the rocky shore line. When you see the size of this ship and the amount of force it would take to push something this large on shore; it is humbling to realize the power of the ocean. The landscape is mostly made up of plots of land for the grazing livestock…mostly cattle. These plots of land are divided by stone walls, put in place without any sort of mortar. Our guide said that all of the stones for the walls came from the fields that the farmers had to remove before the land could be used for grazing or building.
After our tour we went to one of the only 2 restaurants on the island. We bought two take away (Irish version of carry-out) lunches and went to sit at a beach that was near the pier. The dogs on the island seem to just go where they will, interacting with anyone willing to give them some attention and then I suspect at day’s end they make their way back home. There was a border collie that was intent on barking at a large stone in the shallow surf until a passer-by stopped to throw it for him. Of course I had to give him some play and then he came over and sat next to Michael for a few minutes of petting. A cavalier spaniel also came over for a bit of bacon off of Mike’s sandwich. We even saw a dolphins swimming!
After lunch we boarded the ferry for a trip to see the Cliffs of Moher from the water! It was a wonderful experience and really gave you a great perspective of how tall they really are. I was taking some pictures of a round tower on top of one of the cliffs and I noticed some type of small pillars lining the cliff toward the tower. As we moved closer to the cliffs I realized those were not pillars but people!
After sailing by the cliffs we docked and our coach took us to the top of the cliffs. This probably the only time in all of the tours that we have taken that we really felt like a tourist. The Cliffs of Moher is a hugely popular attraction and it was super busy with people; the atmosphere was almost like being at Disneyland. There are two different paths you could take, one to a place called O’Brien’s Tower and the other to one of the highest points of the cliffs. We only had time to do one so we choose the high point.
It is was quite a climb to the top and there were signs along the way to stay on the path, beware of getting too close to the edge and that the cliffs are dangerous; half way up there is a bench dedicated to all those who have lost their lives on the cliffs…..sort of sobering. The view from the top is really majestic and if it were not for the crowds would be a really great place to sit and ponder. What a wonderous world our God has made!