"" Writer's Wanderings: The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland's beautiful coast

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland's beautiful coast

Maybe growing up near a body of water has made me fond of the sea--although the coast of Lake Erie in no way compares to the dramatic sea coast of western Ireland. I love the power and majesty presented in the meeting of land and water, the changing of colors as the sun rises and sets, and certainly the mystery of what the deep waters might hold. That is why I was so excited to visit the Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher stand 200 meters (about 600 feet) high above the Atlantic Ocean. Almost 1900 miles to the west of them lies Newfoundland and North America. (I recall seeing a sign advertising a bar along the way that was "closest to New York City.")

The cliffs are said to be formed from compacted mud, silt, and sand washed down toward the sea over 320 million years ago. Doesn't seem like that would be very sturdy made from those elements but they stand strong and tall as the sea assaults them.

Wind whipped at us as we walked the trails to get a good view of the cliffs. It blows so strong at times that small streams flowing over the cliffs are actually blown back and up. Unfortunately the time of day, late afternoon, put the sun in a bad position for good picture taking but we still managed some good shots.

As we wandered the grassy knoll to O'Brien's Tower, a viewing point built for tourists in 1835, I couldn't help but think of Wuthering Heights and Heathcliff and Catherine. Are the Yorkshire moors like this? Some day I'll have to see.

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