If I could describe my day in one word, it would be breathtaking. I am falling in love with Ireland more and more each day. My journey started at 9:30 this morning when we got on the Barrett tour bus and started our day that would eventually lead us to the Cliffs of Moher. With my camera in hand, the first stop was to a smaller castle in County Clare (I love being in Ireland where there are streets and counties named after me; although my Irish language professor claims that my name means flat land, which is suiting since I am from the lovely state of North Dakota salute). The castle was small but pretty. And it was oddly surrounded by a electric fence. I don’t know if they secretly have Jurassic Park hidden in the castle but I wasn’t going to test my luck before I got to see the Cliffs. The next stop was the Caherconnell Stone Fort. The fort was built between 900 and 1000AD which is pretty old if you ask me. We walked through the fort which had a circular stone wall with a house, animal pen, and farm buildings in the middle. And cows! Since coming to Ireland, I have become slightly obsessed with cows and sheep. We walked through the fort and then stopped in the cafe to get a warm drink since the winds were really blowing. With drink in hand, we hopped back on the bus and made our way to the tomb in Burren. It is one of the top 10 places to visit in Ireland. Check that off of my list! The tomb is situated on a natural limestone formation and weighs 4 tons. I can’t imagine moving those stones without the machinery we have today. Throughout the whole, it would rain on and off. It could be sunny out and then without any warning, you would be wet from the rain. We also drove passed a smaller version of the tomb; the guide said it was likely that a farmer was buried there. I haven’t mentioned it before but the roads are so narrow here. They are made for maybe a car and half, not two tour buses. We met another tour bus that was taking a corner a little too fast. With narrow lanes and speed, it is not a good combination. The other tour bus hit the back right of our tour bus. Not our bus drivers fault so luckily there was only damage to the idiot driver. By now it is around 1 and I am starving. We stop at a pub called Monks where seafood is there specialty. Sign me up. One of the hardest choices I’ve had to make here is do I get the seafood chowder or traditional fish and chips. I went with the fish and chips as a last minute decision and it was a great choice. It was fresh fish caught off of Galway Bay with homemade tartar sauce. Heavenly. After lunch, Mal, Kevon, and I ventured over a wall down to the beach so we could say we touched the ocean. Brrr is all I gotta say. Two more stops before the cliffs. The first was a quick stop to a large limescale field right by the water. The second stop was to a mini-cliff. There were no barriers to stop the wind from blowing you off. The view was beautiful and got about 3 feet away from the edge before my gut dropped. Scary but definitely worth it. Finally, we got back on the bus to make it to our final destination. Walking up a 100 steps to get to the top of the highest point was a struggle with all the bread and chocolate I’ve been eating. But once I made it to the top, I didn’t want to leave. The rain had stopped, the sun was shining. It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen. The pictures that I took don’t do it justice by any means. There is a lighthouse structure at the top of one of the hills. We walked around behind it and we were literally blown away. Mal was blown down multiple times and Courtnee leaned so far into the wind that it looked like a magic trick. I tried to run against the wind and it looked like I was doing high knees. North Dakota did not prepare me enough for this wind. I found out later that this was quite unusual and that they issued a wind advisory because the winds were so strong. It was like I was in a wind tunnel. After all of the pictures were taken, I could see that rain was blowing in from the ocean which was actually really neat, but I didn’t particularly want to get drenched. So we went inside and looked at some pictures and a virtual tour while the rain passed. Which takes me back to the bus for the ride home. After all the stops we made and all the pictures taken, I was worn out. I slept the entire hour and half ride home. I am in love with Ireland:)



About clarson1

I am a student at the University of North Dakota studying Political Science, Public Administration, and International Studies. It's hard to believe, but I am already a senior! Everyone asks me what I want to do with my degree but I am still deciding that myself; maybe grad school or law school, or maybe I'll just stay in Ireland forever. I love to play sports especially tennis, pickleball, and frisbee. Anytime the weather is nice, you will find me outside soaking up some Vitamin D reading a book or chilling with my roomies. When the weather doesn't cooperate, you can find me playing Just Dance on the Wii or baking or watching movies. I am a pretty chill girl but I love to try new things. So, I come!

Posted on September 17, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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