We decided to jump right into a day trip and headed on the Darby O’Gill tour to see the Cliffs of Moher, which was my number one desire for the whole trip. We had to head out very early to make it to the bus stop where we’d be picked up. We made it in good time with pastries and (for me) coffee in hand. We ended up the last picked up, so sat across the aisle from each other, instead of next to each other, but we were in easy conversational distance so that was fine.
Our first break was at the Barack Obama Plaza. Laura nearly lost her shit in excitement. Apparently Obama had visited a few years back and they’d dedicated the rest stop (or services as they say here) to his name. Of course I think it’s strange that people find it so mind boggling that he could have Irish ancestry when his mother was a white girl from Kansas! Anyway it was just a basic service stop except all the touristy information had to do with Obama (O’Bama) and his visit here.
The tour guide, Murphy (Ahh I miss Murphy! He was good people) also mentioned that Trump owns a golf course some 20 kilometers to the west of the Obama rest stop, and that the first thing he tried to do was build a wall around it. Either he doesn’t like the Irish, or he’s overestimating the Mexican swimmers. Murphy told us a lot of history about the island, and all kinds of history and culture, not just the wars. He talked about everything from sports to knitting throughout the day! My favorite, of course, was the knitting.
Our next stop was the Cliffs of Moher. I was expecting some wind, but it was wind like Kansas on a fairly serious wind day. Not the worst of all possible wind but you could feel it knock you around. We headed up to the tops of the cliffs — the back way, not Fezik’s way. There is a tower at the top of the hill but it’s not included in the admission price and was locked up in any case. There is a stone barrier all along the edge of the cliffs, though it’s built back far enough from the edge that there is considerable cliff to stand on beyond the barrier. Within the realm of the national park this is not allowed, but beyond that point it is only discouraged. We went both ways from the entry point, and I chatted with a crow a bit who seemed disappointed that I didn’t have any food to throw him. The crows are huge and I love it.
We took a great many pictures, not a few on the selfie stick until that stopped working for some reason, we thought the battery had died (it runs on bluetooth) but it apparently just failed because we charged it and tried again later and it still did not work. Fortunately Laura has mad selfie skills anyway, and we got a lot of good pictures. Also she’s borrowing her father’s nice camera, which is no good for selfies, but I can’t wait to get all the pictures we took on it because it’s a much nicer camera than anything you get with a cell phone.
We eventually made our way past the barrier to walk along the very edge of the cliffs. Well, not quite so much as some of the other tourists. The vertigo is quite thrilling and terrifying — I love it even as it puts me at the very *edge* of my comfort zone (har har). We took more lovely pictures though my favorite from the day was after that, with me resting an elbow on the barrier and grinning like a madwoman. Probably a new profile picture once I get home but we’ll see what else comes up.
There were some gift shops near the bottom, and although I didn’t buy anything there (I didn’t have enough cash for the sweater I really liked) I rather enjoyed the name of the one shop: Gifts of Moher. I do love the puns.
We had lunch nearby in Doolin in a pub called Fitzpatrick’s. They had a lovely Irish Red on tap and it was the best Irish Red I’ve ever had in my life. Go figure. (Completely ruined American Irish reds for me, I’m pretty sure….)
We headed back toward Dublin with another stop by a castle where they do big medieval dinners, and browsed through the Woollen Mills there. (Which is apparently just what they call Irish souvenir shops from what I’ve seen!) They also had some lovely sweaters, and an ATM, but I didn’t see any sweaters I liked as much even though I did get some cash. I also found a little sample of the Writer’s Tears whiskey that I’ve been wanting to try for so long, in a lovely gift box that is a hollow book (so once the whiskey is gone I’ll still have a hollow book). I am debating hard whether to give that to Dad and hope that he’ll share it with me, or simply share the whiskey with him! We have both shed a few tears over our keyboards in the last few years, I think.
(PS I gave it to him, and he generously shared with me.)
Also we got some shortbread which was painfully delicious. So buttery! I needs must get more. High priority for the rest of my trip.
When we finally got back to Dublin we had another bus ride back to Laura’s room, and once we were there we binged some Drag Race and ordered pizza hut — which came with chips (french fries) and I can see what Laura means about being offended to not have them with pizza going forward. Lovely combination.