I don’t usually get very excited about nature. I can appreciate a nice view, I can smell the pretty flowers, but sooner or later I lose interest and want to go back inside to cocoa and blankets.
Imagine my surprise when a day of looking at rocks and saltwater turned out to be the most spectacular experience of my trip so far.
The Cliffs of Moher (a filming location for The Princess Bride) were undergoing 50-60 mph winds during our visit, which meant some very stern lectures from the tour guide about cliff safety before we were allowed to get off the bus. Those who rolled their eyes during the lecture quickly changed their minds out in the open; during gusts, we had to cling to the stone wall and each other to keep from toppling, and cover our faces to shield them from the sea spray. On our way out, we saw a bus whose windshield had been blown out by the wind.
We stopped in Doolin, where I had my first taste of beef-and-Guinness stew and my first look at two-story tall waves. We went through the Burren, with the Neolithic Poulnabrone dolmen and cracked stone as far as the eye could see. We took a last stop along the coast, saturated in golden light. Then it was a three hour bus ride back to Dublin, all of us sleepy and briny and armed with a dizzying variety of biscuits (Butter Rounds are the current favorite).
The moral? Take trips. Take many of them. Bring a raincoat (it went from rain to sun and back half a dozen times), bring friends, and get ready to see a side of the country you hadn’t even imagined.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Bea Gantzer, and I am a junior English major at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm a distance runner, baker, and Minnesotan. This will be my first time out of the United States, and I look forward to experiencing a new culture, soaking up Dublin's rich history, and getting little-kid excited over seeing buildings older than the U.S. itself.</span></p>