Friday, March 30, 2012

Cliffs of Insanity

*This blog post is out of order, since we went to the cliffs the Thursday between Helen's birthday party and the weekend of St Paddy's Day. To make up to the out-of-order-ness it is full not only of epic cliffs, but also Princess Bride quotes.
"He didn't fall?!? INCONCEIVABLE!"
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."  
I went with Katie and Emily (Grove Cityers) to the Cliffs of Moher while they were visiting from Italy where they are studying abroad. Since we didn't have a giant to carry us up the rock face on a rope, we took a bus. Although buses are not as cool, we did at least have our favorite driver -Martin- who we've now had on 4 tours by pure chance.

The first stop was at Allwee Cave where we got coffee and tea to help us wake up after our rather late night and early raising, plus a doughnut which was yummy, but nothing compared to Saturday-morning-market-doughnuts-from-Dan.  
Rain on my lens, and wind winning the battle
of the hood with my great travel buddy Emily
 "I don't suppose you could speed things up?" 
 "If you're in such a hurry, you could lower a rope or a tree branch or find something useful to do." 
"I could do that. I have some rope up here, but I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you."
"That does put a damper on our relationship."

We drove through some great Irish countryside and Connamara, then we arrived at the cliffs and managed to snap some photos before the fog set in and blocked the view. The cliffs are impressive and well worth being soaked by the rain and wind since we got a clear view for at least a little bit.

Unlike the Aran Islands, there are walls and warning signs abounding at the Cliffs of Moher. I liked the nice touch of a memorial plaque "To those who have lost their lives at the Cliffs" at the end of the path were all the "Danger" and "Do not enter" signs were ignored. Although the people-die-when-they-ignore-our-nice-warning-signs-memorial was mostly ignored as well. Don't worry we stayed safe though. I think our poor cameras were in the most danger with all the mist, fog, and rain honestly. They had to leave the safety of our raincoats for photos though, cause there were cliffs! They gave us some blurry photos as pay back, but in the end came through unscathed. 

There was a tower built a couple hundred years ago for the tourist to have a better view. Clever idea. Sadly there was no Man-In-Black or dueling Spaniards.  Cliffs of Insanity/ Cliffs of Moher are still wonderful and made me realize that it's been far too long since I watched The Princess Bride, so that has to be remedied. 
See mom I'm staying a good safe distance form the cliffs this time ^_^
After checking out the cliffs and tower we stopped in their new state of the art visitors center. It is almost impressive how much mascara you can get on your face when you have cliff winds and rain combined against you. And that is to say nothing of the hair situation. 

We were (very slightly!) late to met back at the bus, but our fellow tour-mates forgave us and we headed to a little pub for some warm food. We got yummy (and not food-poisonous) seafood chowder and some of the amazing hearty brown bread for lunch.

We stopped along the way back to Galway for some more photo ops. At the coast and one of the castles built right by the water around the 15th century. By the coast we also got some photos sitting on one of the huge boulders dropped there by the glaciers a long time before the 15th century.  

I have it on good authority that the Cliffs of Insanity are also amazing when you see them from the water, so I'm scheming a bit to see if I can work out a way to go back and see them from a boat as well.  The Cliffs of Moher (Irish Gaelic name)/Cliffs of Insanity (other name of awesomeness) were really fun to see and we had good weather --by Irish at least since it only actively rain on us for part of the day. And we were even mostly dried out by the time we made it back to Galway that evening. 

"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia - but only slightly less well-known is this: Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha h..." 
Wonderful travel buddy, Kaite, in the Invincible-Tomato-Rain-Coat which was quite appreciated in the rain and mist 
Forgive the not good photo, we were too excited about eating to pose
When the three of us got back to Galway we met up with Monique and Star for an epic Girls Night. It started off with wolfing down six dozen wings at Scotty's and ended with eating two Tesco bins of ice cream while we watched Ocean's Eleven. Very very wonderful all around. I can't wait to visit Emily and Katie in Italy next!

"Once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you, and then it's nothing but work, work, work all the time."
"You mock my pain!"
"Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something."

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