The Cliffs of Insanity

27 Mar

Over the weekend we went to the West of Ireland. We stopped in Connemara on the first day and went to Kylemore Abbey, then to the Aran Islands on the second day, and finally on Sunday we made it to the Cliffs of Moher. This was by far one of the most interesting stops for me. One of the reasons, though lower on my long list, of coming to Ireland was to see the beautiful landscapes that the island has to offer. I was picturing rolling hills of green, rocky cliffs that I am too afraid to walk on, and sprawling farms with sheep and other assortments of animals. I love when I get to experience these places and they are beyond my imagination. I was intrigued to find that there used to be a gigantic river delta where the cliffs are and they were formed 320 million years ago. The cliffs get their name from a ruined fort from the 1st century B.C. that is now gone called Mothar. Knowing this information and standing there in modern times is almost a spiritual experience. To walk those cliffs that are still there today, though they have changed so much, is a strange experience.

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At the Cliffs of Moher there was a tower on the right hand side of the cliffs. Before we began the explorations of the cliffs we were warned that the left side was a bit more dangerous than the right side because there are fewer safety precautions. I of course took this to heart because I am deathly afraid of heights and there was strong gusty winds blowing us around all weekend. We made it to the right side and there was a restored tower sitting on the edge. I was intrigued but I did not make much of an effort to investigate what the tower was at the time; I was a bit preoccupied by the beautiful but perilous cliffs and the 214m drop into the Atlantic Ocean. The mysterious tower therefore stuck in my mind until I was able to research it. I found that the tower is called O’Brien’s Tower and it was built in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien who was a local landlord. He built it to be a viewing tower for tourists. From the tower there are spectacular views of all sides and when it is not cloudy out the Aran Islands. 

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http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/Facilities/O’Brien’sTower.aspx?rowid=6696
http://www.cliffs-moher.com/about.php

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