The Cliffs of Moher

Yesterday, I traveled to Ireland’s west coast with a large group of other study abroad students. The event was sponsored by the UCD Centre for Study Abroad, so the trip was fo free, which was pretty awesome.

We departed UCD at 7:45am and drove for a little over an hour before coming to our first stop: The Barack Obama Plaza. I had no idea this existed, but apparently the Irish love Obama.

They had a museum dedicated to Barack that covered the entire upstairs of the large plaza. Personally, I found it a bit strange. Who knew Obama was even Irish?

After spending 30mins drinking coffee amongst various portraits of Mr. President, we got back on the bus and made our way toward the Cliffs of Moher. Throughout the remaining 2 hours of our journey west we experienced sunshine, a thunderstorm, snowfall, and hurricane level winds…so pretty much the ideal weather for walking along a 700 foot cliff on the Atlantic.

Although the wind continued blow like crazy throughout the day, the sky cleared completely 5mins after we pulled into the entrance for the Cliffs. For the entire hour and a half we explored the Cliffs of Moher it did not rain, and there were no thick clouds obscuring the beautiful view. It was amazing.

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The Cliffs of Moher
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O’Brien’s Tower

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There are no words to fully describe the moment you look out over the Atlantic and watch the ocean crashing against this natural wonder (the Cliffs of Moher aren’t technically considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, but they would’ve had my vote).

You might have noticed in the photo of O’Brien’s Tower that the wind was taking ocean water and creating a (sort of) backwards waterfall by blowing the water up over the Cliffs. This was happening in many areas along the walking path, and I just thought it was so cool. The wind was blowing so hard that I had to hold my hat on and I couldn’t walk in a straight line, but to see it moving a steady stream of ocean water up a cliff that is hundreds of feet tall truly amazed me. If you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of the water spraying up in the picture posted below.

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So, now that I’ve described how strong the wind was at the Cliffs that day, it’s probably time to apologize to my mom in advance for this next picture:

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In hindsight, getting that close to the edge of the Cliffs on such a windy day wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done…it was kind of dumb and something I will/should (probably) never do again. But I’m still here to write about how scary/cool it was so it all worked out, right?! I mean, I was still almost at least a foot away from the edge and the wind was blowing backwards so if anything, I would have just fallen back into the mud and I would have been fine. That doesn’t necessarily make it a smarter decision, but that’s my justification for it.

Quick shoutout to Evan for braving the weather to explore with me!

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The Cliffs of Moher were certainly the highlight of my first few weeks at UCD. After spending time there amazed at the reality that I had actually seen them in real life, I knew that it was only the beginning of my Ireland adventures.

Side note: On the way home we stopped at a really cool looking castle. Apparently it was really expensive to go in it so we could only admire it from the outside, but I was perfectly content with staring at it for a few minutes. Next to it was an apparently somewhat famous restaurant called Durty Nelly’s.

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