I visited Ireland for the first time about ten years ago, and have been dying to show it to Brad for some time. I knew the warmth of the people, the welcoming Irish spirit, the dramatic landscapes and the stirring live music would steal his heart. And, I really wanted to show him the Cliffs of Moher. Sometimes, a must-see sight ends up being a bit of a let down (I’m talking to you Sintra), but the Cliffs are an absolute showstopper. We stayed in Galway, which is a completely doable 1.5 hour drive from the Cliffs. The drive is gorgeous, full of castle ruins, rushing rivers, tiny fishing villages, and pubs along the way. In short, it has everything you could hope for from an Irish road trip.
Doolin – Pub stop time!
We arrived to the Cliffs of Moher during a fairly intense wind, and that light sideways rain you expect from coastal cities. I’m going to be honest, tt was looking pretty frigid. But, we came to see the Cliffs and that was exactly what we planned to do. We took a deep breath, jumped out of the car, buttoned our jackets, pulled on our hats, wrapped our scarfs tight around our faces, and just went for it. Let me begin by saying, the view is incredible. The green, verdant cliffs, windswept plains and ruined castles, all make for a breathtakingly dramatic scene. This is why people fall in love with Ireland. I think we actually lucked out with the rain, because the weather meant far less people in all of our shots, and it wasn’t too terribly misty, so we still had some great views of the cliffs.
After running about the Cliffs, exploring the ruined castle, and chatting to the grazing cows, we decided to pop into a pub for a bite and a drink. Typically I look up several options for meal/pubs while planning a trip, but the neighboring town of Doolin, filled with brightly colored thatched roof pubs and shops is tiny, so I thought it might be fun just to pop into a place that looked enticing. (Spoiler alert: they all did). Situated across from a rushing river, Gus O’Connors Pub fit the bill completely. We grabbed a perfect seat right in front of the fireplace, ordered a couple coffees, plus two plates of fish and chips, with mushy peas. I have not yet hopped on the mushy pea bandwagon, but I continue to try it in hopes that I may develop a taste for it. The piping hot food was served almost immediately, and hit the spot after our windswept time on the cliffs. We relaxed in front of the fire, enjoying the warmth of the flames and listening to locals chatting about their day in their thick Irish brogues.
The Cliffs are so spectacular, I could have spent hours hiking the area, stopping for a picnic, breathing in the views. If the weather had been warmer, we could easily have spent the day.
Have you visited the Cliffs of Moher? Did you love it as much as I did? What other parts of Ireland would you like to see?