The Wild, Wild West

2 Oct

This past weekend, we went on a study tour to the West of Ireland. While we were there, we saw the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and Inis Mor of the Aran Islands. I had never gone to any of these places before, and I had only seen a few pictures of the Cliffs of Moher previously. So, for the most part I did not know what the weekend would have in store.

While Skyping my mother one night, I told her that we were going to Galway and visiting the Cliffs. Just then her face lit up. She had gone to Ireland last year on a business trip and had time to do a little sight-seeing. She raved incessantly about the Cliffs of Moher. She said they were magical, and after seeing the cliffs for myself, I could not have agreed “moher” (I love a good pun). Walking up the dirt path to the top of the cliffs was like riding up the incline of a roller coaster; you wait and you wait, you anticipate what the top is going to look like, everything on ground level looking smaller and smaller the higher you get, adrenaline pumping with the uncertainty of when you’ll finally reach the peak, and before you know it, you feel like you’re on top of the world. I cried when I looked out into the ocean and at the cliffs – not because I was sad or scared, but because I could not believe my eyes. My mom was right. The cliffs are magical. They are so breathtakingly beautiful and enormous that they almost hold a power over you. The fact that something that incredible exists – and naturally – absolutely blows my mind. Then, you look behind you to see one of the most magnificent landscapes – farms spread across rolling hills for miles, divided by ancient stonewalls that hold history and stories within their boundaries; herds of cows and sheep freely grazing and roaming the lands, with the occasional quaint cottage of one of the locals. To top it all off, it was a mild, sunny day with a perfectly blue sky. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was there, and that it is now a true memory in my mind.

– Hannah Bates

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