On Sunday morning, we got up after about 4+ hours of sleep and with one of the longest drives of the trip ahead of us. No bueno. I walked around Dingle a little bit, taking it all in and taking photos while Loren napped. Then we set off for County Clare. It was all slower, narrow roads and we had a 30 min stoppage in Tralee. Frustrating. It took about 4 hours and we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher.
I can’t tell you how beautiful this is. I just can’t. A photo of the cliffs has been my desktop background on my work laptop for months as inspiration. It doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing! It brought me to tears. I think at this location, more than any other, I was awestruck with God’s beauty. They are just magnificent. We got some excellent photos here, but as we told each other the entire trip, we had to take it in ourselves while we were there because it will inevitably come across flat in pictures.
We had some fun with some of our photos here and I can’t wait to post some of them (or for my FB friends to see them all!). It had rained off and on the entirety of our drive that day (the first day of rain we encountered, actually…we couldn’t complain. Day 6 was the first day of rain? In Ireland? Nope. No complaints here!) But by the time we got to the cliffs, the rain had stopped. It was still partially overcast, but the sun peaked out at times. It was perfect.
Those of you who know me, know how much I love the north shore. Lake Superior just speaks to me. Well, much of Ireland reminded me of Minnesota and the north shore. The Cliffs of Moher was one of those places. It dwarfs the north shore, don’t get me wrong, but I felt connected to the place like I do up on Lake Superior.
We had planned to hit the Burren that evening, but it was late and we were exhausted. So we made for Lisdoonvarna…home of the Matchmaking Festival that is held there each September. I was not really in the mood for it, after having the best. Night. Ever. The night before. But Loren convinced me to go out. I was not impressed. But it was a Sunday, after all. We spoke to a bartender who told us that everywhere closed early on Sundays and that the festival hadn’t drawn as many people as in the past in general. That it drew fewer and fewer people each year.
So what did that mean for us? It meant we were fending off drunken elderly Irishmen and drunken juvenile Irish boys. It was annoying for me. I think Loren had fun because that’s her personality. She can make the best of things and go out and have a good time regardless. I had to gruff with one guy, though. He approached me for the third time (barely standing on his own) as I was taping a rendition of “Galway Girl” and I growled at him to Do. Not. Touch. Me.
All of that aside, Lisdoonvarna was a cute little town. The woman working at the hotel we stayed at was awesome. She told us to “believe nothing” and “you get what you give.” Good words of wisdom!
We got up Monday morning and had our complimentary breakfast at the hotel (I was surprised to learn that almost everywhere we stayed…save the hostel…provided free breakfast even if it wasn’t a B&B). The waitress was adorable and asked us if we had come to Ireland for the matchmaking festival. We said no and she said, “I didn’t think so, you don’t seem like the type!” We talked to her about it a little and she said that she knows many people, generations even, who have met their spouse that way, though. She said that if we should partake in it, to require “8 cows, minimum.” HA! Loren and I both thought we were worth more than 8 cows, we should shoot for 10.