The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Limerick is fine, but definitely not a city you can sightsee in for more than a couple of days.  Fortunately, it makes a good hub for tours and day trips, and one of the most popular trips is to the Cliffs of Moher.

In usually a DIY guy when it comes to transit, preferring public transit versus the more organized, but nearing the end if a big trip, paying a bit extra for a bus made sense.  Also, not like I’d be in a big group for the day, so no issue.

So I went with Paddywagon Tours who, just in case your doubted their Irishness, had a giant leprechaun face on their minibus.  It’s sold as the most fun tour in Ireland, and while I can’t confirm that, I was amused by our driver forgetting to turn off his microphone while talking to his guide-in-training and when answering his Bluetooth.  Super pro, that.

On the way to the cliffs, you stop off at a place called The Burren, a hilly, limestone karst formation right near the ocean.  Nor much growing but some scrubs a

nd small flowers, and the Irish grey skies made for a spooky landscape.

We made a lunch stop in Doolin, a small fishing town, before heading to the cliffs.  
The Cliffs of Moher are certainly beautiful, and certainly well touristed.  There are walking trails all along the edge, some where you’re protected by walls, and some others where you need to be careful not to get too close to the edge.  We were told to go right and go “off path” for the best views and, after going up a guard tower where a toddler was adorably looking for a princess, you come to a fence with a small area to pass through that allows you onto some unpaved trails.  Apparently, you can walk all the way to Doolin by following this trail and, if I had the time, or was staying in Doolin, definitely would have done that.  The further you got from the paved portions, the more alone-ish you got, and the more likely you were to experience the cliffs jutting from the sea in peace.
I headed back to the central point of the trail and went a bit left, where you got a different view of the cliffs and the aforementioned watch tower.  We only had about two hours here and would have loved longer, but we’ll have to save that for Ireland: The Sequel.

The way back was scenic as always, with a quick stop at Bunratty castle for photos.  Next to it was a 400 year old pub called Durty Nelly’s, which I’ve heard is good for the atmosphere, but no time this time around.  Then, into town for dinner at Cornstore, where I had my first Guinness in Ireland of this trip (because, before you purists get upset, remember I had one in Cork years ago) before catching the late night bus to Dublin Airport.

So, the cliffs were lovely and definitely deserve a trip, though I feel like staying Doolin or in the area near the cliffs and hiking the whole trail may be a bit more rewarding than the tour from Limerick.  That said, if you need a base for tours in Ireland, Limerick is looking like it might be a good choice.

That’s it for Ireland!  One more day in Belgium and then it’s home, sweet home!

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