European Adventure Ireland

Galway Day 2: The Cliffs & The Caves

I fell in love with Galway! I had so much fun there. In fact, I stayed there much longer than I had originally intended. I suppose that is the beauty of traveling without set plans – you can go about as you please!

As seen from my previous post, I visited the Cliffs of Moher. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Originally I was going to go in an organized bus tour to the cliffs, but the night before I was fortunate to make some friends who were also going to the cliffs – however, they were renting a car so they could have freedom to do as they wished. They invited me along.

I thought about it for a while; even in the morning I was still weighing between bus tour and road trip. The weather was bad that morning and the bus tour was due to depart early. Whereas the road trip was departing around noon, to time the visit when the weather was supposed to clear. I went with my gut and chose the road trip.

It was definitely the best decision I could have made.

Originally there were going to be 5 of us going but the two girls dropped out. So it was me and my new friends CJ and Julien. They’re definitely the coolest people I’ve ever met. I had too much fun with them.

I met them at their B&B and met the infamous Sean, who owns Ace Bed and Breakfast. Oh, he was quite  the character. I loved him but he loved me way more. He was a 70 year old Irishman with no verbal filter and had amazing theories on love and women… which he readily shared. His hospitality was untraditional but extremely entertaining. Definitely leaves for some good stories to share.

Julien got the car, I was dubbed navigator, I bought u some orange kit kat bars and 4 cheese & Mediterranean herb “party mix” (road trip snacks!), and we definitely put gas in a diesel engine. Whoops!

We made it to the Cliffs of Moher in a little less than a couple hours, stopping along the way for some beautiful scenery and photo opportunities.

The Cliffs were spectacular. We arrived at the perfect time. The rain had dissipated and although it was still slightly overcast, in some areas the sky was blue and dotted with fluffy white clouds. The photos do not do it justice:

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One thing that was striking that you will not get from the photos is the unbelievable strength of the wind. I have never experienced such a magnitude of wind. I was holding my cliffs of Moher brochure and it was ripped from my hands. When you faced the wind you could lean into it while standing at an angle without falling forward. There were quite a few times when we were trekking the further point of the cliffs (I’m fairly certain that this area was supposed to be off limits to the public though… Maybe…) and I was literally knocked over or blown off balance from the sheer wind strength (and poor footing). But honestly, these cliffs were incredible. I loved them. I had so much fun here.

Adjacent to the cliffs was a giant field of very tall grass. We had to fight the wind to get there, but when we did we laid on our backs. It felt like a fluffy bed. Here I am laying in the grass, in pure jubilation:

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After the Cliffs we went to the Ailwee Caves. Luckily we made it for the last tour of the day! After visiting Mammoth Caves and Ruby Falls in previous travels I wasn’t as impressed with it – it was a much shorter tour with a lot less to see – but it was still very cool to see and I’m glad that we went. In the caves we even saw the bones of a 3,000 year old bear. According to our guide, bears have been extinct in Ireland for nearly 1,500 years. What I thought was interesting was that the caves were only recently discovered. And hey were only found when a man was chasing his dog who was chasing a rabbit that went into the cave entrance. Even after he found the caves, he kept it a secret for 30 years.

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We returned to Galway after, enjoyed a fish and chips dinner at the famous McDonough’s (which was highly recommended to me by several people) adding a new friend from my hostel, Caroline, were later joined by the girls who were supposed to accompany us on the Cliffs of Moher road trip, and we all met up with my new friend the bartender, Des, at the pub he recommended. It was a fun night with new friends, but it made me sad to know that it was my last night in Galway.

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