I recently returned home from two of the best weeks I have experienced in a long time. Travel is always a grand adventure, and this was the first grand adventure I have had in three years. I am still organizing my thoughts and my photos, but I wanted to give everyone a taste of Ireland.
When I was in Prague, I met a woman who was the owner of a tiny little bar. While my friend and I were there it began to rain and she locked the doors because she said she wouldn’t have people coming into her bar just to escape the rain, her seats were reserved for real customers. She sat with us at our table and poured us glasses of cordial and we all smoked cigarettes and chatted. She told us that she had left her heart at the gate to the Fjords of Norway. She said that she had been trying to get back there ever since, not to reclaim her heart, because she knew that was impossible, but in hopes that she could simply reconnect with it for a bit.
This is how I felt when I finally saw the Cliffs of Moher. Everyone who has ever been to Ireland will tell you that you have to see the Cliffs of Moher. When hearing statements like this, I personally always think, “Okay, sure, I’ll see them.” In this case everyone was right.
I was on a guided bus tour that took us to the Cliffs. From the parking lot you can go right or left, each promising an excellent and different view. I chose to go right, which led me first to the remnants of an ancient stone watch tower, which was amazing in itself. I continued on along the path looking down amazed, every five feet. The views were spectacular, but I continued on, waiting for that one scene that causes everyone who has ever been there to tell me that I have to go there. My traveling companion and I finally reach a sign that says “from this point on, you are entering a private farm. Enter at your own risk and we are not liable for any accident, injury or death.” We continued.
The path had now become a tiny dirt path atop the Cliffs. It was narrow and there was no fence between myself and the more than 500 ft. drop to the wild Atlantic Ocean. I was experience feelings that I very rarely feel when on an adventure. I was scared and nervous and excited and in awe, all at the same time. The Cliffs, at their highest point, provide a drop off of over 700 ft, directly to a rocky ocean below. The tiny dirt path finally led us to a set of very old stone steps. I couldn’t go down. I was stuck. I wanted to more than anything in the world, but I couldn’t. He went and when he came back up, I knew that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I could not muster the courage to get my ass down those steps.
I went. I had to. I am so glad that I did. I was standing on this magnificent plateau looking down hundreds of feet to the Atlantic Ocean. I was surrounded by the clearest water and the tallest Cliffs I have ever seen and it was one of those moments in time. One of those moments when you are reminded that the world is so vast and that you are so small and comfortability should never be an option. I sat and I breathed in the cool fresh air and I felt a piece of my heart leave my body and decide to stay forever, right there atop the Cliffs of Moher.
I will have to go back there one day, not to reclaim my heart, because I know that is impossible, but to simply reconnect with it for a bit.