By Madison Tucky (Visiting Student, Study Abroad Blogger)
In Ireland there are a lot of different places that people told me I should visit, and the most frequently mentioned one was the Cliffs of Moher. The people that I talked to who had been to Ireland before said that I had to visit the Cliffs, that it would be an unbelievable experience I needed to have. I’ll admit, I was kind of skeptical. I’ve seen cliffs before. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon in America. I didn’t think that the Cliffs of Moher would be anything crazy special. They’d be really cool and I was definitely going to go, but to be honest I had very low expectations for my trip out there. While there are a few different companies that take tours to the Cliffs from Dublin, I actually took the bus to Galway and used a tour company there, as I have a friend studying there who wanted to go with me. It was a very nice, easy, and early bus ride to Galway, and then the bus for the tour left from the bus station that I’d been dropped off at, so it was a very easy start to the excursion.
We booked a trip that took several stops before the Cliffs, looking at some old churches, castles and villages on our way. The tour stopped for lunch in a little village called Doolin where I had some delicious chicken tenders and fries at a pub and then went to a little chocolate shop where I wanted to buy everything in sight. I love chocolate, and this little place had so many different kinds, including a 99% dark chocolate bar that I was definitely too afraid to try. After buying maybe too much fudge, I got back on the bus and we were on our way to the cliffs.
The bus dropped us off and our driver told us that we had just under two hours to look around. He pointed out the visitor center to us and gave us his recommendation of which side to go from where we were. We were back far enough that we hadn’t gotten the full effect of the Cliffs yet, and I thought that we would probably have a short little stroll, take some pictures, and then spend time exploring the visitor center since that would have more information and stuff than if we were to just look out at the Cliffs for the full two hours.
The minute I got to the point where I could see the Cliffs, I was blown away. I have never felt so instantly in love and in awe of a place as I was there. It was breathtaking. I realize now why it was so hard for the people who told me to go to describe just what the Cliffs are like, as I find myself having a hard time explaining it now. They were so tall and so green and the ocean was so beautiful. Everything was just stunning and I got completely carried away standing on the cliffs and looking out into the ocean. It was one of the most incredible moments of my life. You do have to be very careful since there are a lot of areas that you can go where you’re right at the cliff-side, no barrier between you and the edge, but I never felt unsafe. I’m usually not even a height person, so I didn’t get too close to the edge, but there really wasn’t a bad place to stand and see the Cliffs. Before I knew it, we had to head back to the bus, but I could hardly tear myself away from the edge. I could’ve spent hours just sitting there looking or walking all the way along the edge.
We did have to leave however, and as I got on the bus I told myself that it was definitely one place that I wanted to revisit in my time here. I would recommend it to everyone and just say that I can’t even really explain how incredible the experience is. It’s something everyone needs to just see for themselves – as long as they take me with them too!