If you’ve ever been to Ireland, you’ve likely experienced the wonder of the Cliffs of Moher. Amanda and I experienced them for the first time in 2014 while walking across the top, so this time we wanted to get a different view by doing a cruise of the Cliffs as well as one of the Aran Islands, Inis Oirr.
We started with the trip out to Inis Oirr. The wind was just chilly enough to keep you consistently cool and provide a sense of adventure and voyage. We boarded the ship last, along with the other Americans and Germans who had formed a line. I was curious about what the Aran Islands would look like, there were rumors of plentiful sheep and beautiful beaches. Also all the great socks were advertised as being Aran wool. 😉
The ride out to the island provided enough time to take a moment to breathe. Watching the shore get smaller and smaller until it disappears is a humbling feeling. The deep blue water eventually gave way to a lighter hue, and we had the pleasure of seeing a wild dolphin (!?) playfully showing off for the passengers of the boat as we approached the dock.
To be honest, it was a confusing sensory experience. We were standing on the shore of a beautiful beach with light sands and turquoise waters (and a dolphin!), but the weather still required a jacket and suggested curling up with a book and fireplace. To this day I’ve never experienced a beach so unique.
We disembarked and started a series of mini hikes around the island, happy to discover a number of dog owners and a plethora of beautiful vistas.
After spending the afternoon on the island, it was time to see the Cliffs. When we visited in 2014, we saw them from the top and we spent a day hiking along the bluffs. They felt gigantic when we looking down from them and, to be honest, they looked equally as imposing staring down at us. We rode along parallel to the cliffs for a while, the highlight of which was seeing a number of birds and Amanda’s favorite, puffins*.
The chill from earlier was no match for the cold wind and water that whipped about us now. I put my arm around Amanda to help keep her warm and also simply because it was nice to be somewhere exotic with her again. The Cliffs are a bizarre thing, so simple but so breathtaking.
*If you ever get the chance to hear an Irish person say, “puffin”, you should take it!