Ireland is nearly bursting with natural beauty. It seems that every time you twist your head left or right, there’s a mountain vista dappled with sun from low-hanging clouds, or a rainbow stretching over lush green hillsides, or a waterfall rolling off a mountainside and into a clear, strong stream with hordes of fluffy white sheep happily bleating and drinking from its edge.
With such a high level of general amazingness, it really takes some magnitude for any particular area to rise above the noise and be seen as a beacon of Mother Nature. The Cliffs of Moher (Sweet Nerd Factoid: also known as the “Cliffs of Insanity” from the movie The Princess Bride) live up to the challenge.
On the drive to the cliffs, and even up till parking at the visitor center, you’re given no inclination of the majesty of the view that’s in store for you. It’s only after you start walking the stairs up the hillside that you get your first glimpse.
Just as Becki said while we were there, it’s as if every element in nature comes exploding at you at once: the sheer rock face of the cliffs, the pounding waves of the Atlantic ocean, gale force winds that seem to never let up, and the sun beating down (for the first 10 minutes we were there, anyways). The Earth looks like it was cracked apart right at the cliffs, the other side of which is now probably part of Newfoundland.
The best thing you can do when you’re at the cliffs? Stare.
Sure, walking along them on the trail is great, the visitor center is super cool, being built into the hillside and all eco-friendly and whatnot, but simply staring at the cliffs can’t be beat. Watch the cliffs, and then watch some more. You’ll slowly start to see how they work – the waves shaping rock-stacks in the ocean, the gulls and terns diving and soaring without once flapping a wing, the puffins plying the waters for fish…
Cliffs of insanity? Insanely amazing maybe ;)