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Cliffs of Moher

Adorable Chick

UK & IRELAND diary : Day 16 - 26th April 2017

The Cliffs of Moher are a connected series of sea cliffs that lie on the southwest Atlantic coast of Ireland , overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean. Their unique natural form is what makes them the most visited place in the country. The entire line of cliffs along with the surrounding land stretch for about 14-15 kms in length and form a part of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher geopark. A picture of each cliff , curving around its edges and side, gently folding itself inside before connecting to the next one in line, all standing 400 ft tall above the ocean and forming a sort of diagonal, is what one usually finds in pictures. The "Cliffs of Moher" is beyond just that. The vast green area has a viewing tower at the top of one of the high risen mounds, called the O Brien's tower. This tower marks the highest point around the Cliffs. The tower is obviously named after its builder. It has also served as a tea house initially. Tourist flock around to get up the tower, for views of Aran islands and the Twelve pins in Connemara. The high risen points in the area, overlooking the ocean also provide the same views. The edges of the mountainous portion are fenced along most of its length. The unfenced portion is also opened to walks with a BIG SIGN BOARD throwing 'caution'. Somehow, these are the portions that provide the best views, so people can't seem to avoid them. A million dollar picture is worth a little risk eh ?

We were up early that morning to take the first of our tours with WILD ROVER TOURS. It was a race against time early that morning, but it was well worth it. The places listed in their itinerary promised to surely remain etched in our memories for ever. It was 6:15 am when we took a taxi to reach Gresham Hotel on O'Connell street in Dublin, where our tour would begin. In less than 15 minutes we reached there. This street , in central Dublin, was so wide and beautiful. The tour bus had 2 pick up points. Slowly a few participants showed up and it was evident they would join the same tour. The tour bus arrived by 6:45 am. Without delay, the tour began sharp at 7 am. Cliffs of Moher, The Atlantic edge and Galway City was the itinerary of the day. The bus soon got lively with some country side music infused with catchy beats. The scenery outside was equally outstanding. The crowd began to rock and roll. By 9 am we passed through counties of Kildare and Limerick before arriving at County Clare. Ireland, like Scotland is said to be a CASTLE RICH country. We got to view castles all along the way. Our guide in bus provided relevant information, whenever we crossed a sight worth a mention. Bunratty Castle, a 15th Century medieval Norman fortress could be viewed from a distance. We soon stopped looking at our watch and lost ourselves to nature.

We reached the Cliffs on the Atlantic edge after around three and half hours of driving. The highs and lows of a vast green land invited us with open arms. We were smitten by the natural beauty all around. Wide pathways led us up and down the scenic green meadows. A short walk brought us face to face with the mighty Cliffs. We were awe-struck by the sheer enormity of the Cliffs. It was even better than in pictures. It instilled in me a sense of being one with nature. We experienced an unusual power, as fresh air blew into our faces, from right over the magnificent Atlantic. Everyone was in silence. The sheer height of the cliffs and the spectacular, breathtaking views left a lasting impression.

Tidy Desk

We couldn't stop taking pictures. Each time we looked at the curvy cliffs, we seemed to want more of it. Even a high end camera would not capture the ecstatic feeling....would it ? I ll let the pictures speak for themselves, as for our indescribable feelings, it just stays in our heart.

We spent around two hours in the cliff area. We were free to choose between the 2 uphill directions - Path 1 to the right and Path 2 to the left. We Chose to visit the O Brien's tower first, which proudly stood on a piece of land opposite to the wonderful cliffs that were jutting out, on Path 1. We could enjoy views of Aran Islands and Galway bay from here.

There was a small fee to get to the top of the Tower. It is said to have a spiral stairway running three rounds, all the way to the top. It is not a very tall tower. We decided to stay on ground and pose against its walls to our heart's content. We came across four women travellers, who were close friends. They were having a Gala time on the tour. They requested me to take their pictures. I took a few shots of theirs in my camera too. A friendly talk gave rise to a conversation. They were having a reunion after many years and came from different parts of the world. It sounded so exciting. How I missed my close friends at that moment.

We slowly descended downhill back to our tour operator. The Thirsty traveller inside me didn't want to leave any stone unturned. The Path 2 seemed to be beckoning me to explore its scenic views.

It was too short a time for any discussion. I left my group behind , running up this path and shouting out promises to return within 15 minutes after capturing a few scenes up there. I ran as fast as I could with the camera strapped around my neck. I felt on seventh heaven. My camera, swayed from side to side too in happiness. I grabbed the lens to keep it still. As I reached higher, the path seemed completely rugged. The railings were growing sparse on the way to the top. Warnings were in bold prohibiting travellers from crossing over. After a certain point the railing was completely missing.

I saw people venturing out face to face with nature. They were brave enough to climb down vertically if required. I seriously envied them. The Cliffs could actually be viewed from a completely different angle here. It was so exciting. I was literally on top of the world. After a short workout with my camera in all possible angles, I raced downhill in a bid to keep up my promise. Luckily I made it back on time and didn't miss the bus. A few camera shots of mine depicting 'twosome walking away' and "Deep Silence " became two of my favourite works of art of all times. You can spot them in the Gallery. We hit the roads yet again. Next was the journey along the edge of the Atlantic coast. It was as wild as possible. For further story read "Burren".