Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cliffs of Moher

This is the "money shot" of this very popular tourist destination in Ireland, perhaps the number one sight based on the filled parking lot, and the shear numbers of tourists wending their way along the foot paths to the top. Being afraid of heights, I relied on my intrepid traveling partner to take this photo. I'd seen enough travelogues to know I wanted to go nowhere near the edge.

It looks innocent enough as you follow the road toward this natural phenomena and national treasure of the Irish coastline, over gently rolling hills, along this
narrow country lane. It looks like much of the Irish landscape and it is easy to forget that you are heading for literally, the edge of the country.

As you head toward the cliffs you cannot be prepared for the enormity of their size. The view from the parking lot is deceptive because you cannot visually perceive that you are walking on the cliffs, rather than alongside them. As the road climbs towards the left of this photo, it seems only logical that it heads to the ultimate destination, the cliffs themselves.

The monumental size starts to loom over you the nearer you come to the edge, where you realize you have been walking almost two thirds above the level of the sea that these cliffs plunge into. I'd like to know how far beneath the surface of the water these cliffs go.

I admit again, that I did not take these photos either. My knees are weakened and I feel queasy just looking at the two dimensional images. It is nice to note that the consession stand and bathrooms were well away from the cliffs and did not become intrusive as so many do at popular tourist destinations.

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