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THE CLIFFS OF MOHER
15 March 2014
In preparation for St. Patrick's day, I changed my Facebook page to reflect my Irish roots. I thought about what I could use from Ireland and decided that a photo of the Cliffs of Moher would work perfectly (see Photo of the Day).
The cliffs are located in County Clare on the west side of Ireland. They rise 390 feet from the Atlantic Ocean and are magnificent. If you saw the movie Ryan's Daughter, you saw the cliffs in the opening scenes. Apparently they were used as the "Cliffs of Insanity" in Princess Bride and were seen in one of the Harry Potter movies.
It was definitely one of the things I wanted to see when we traveled to Ireland with the kids in 1988.
The kids remember that day mostly because it took us 3 hours to get there and something like half an hour to get home. They were folded up like pretzels in the tiny hatchback that we rented (we had ordered a van and were only told when we got there that there were no vans for rent). We were sightseeing and so took the scenic route, hence the 3 hours.
When we finally got to the cliffs, I remember that there was a parking lot off away from the ciffs and you walked up to the center of the U-shaped bay around which the cliffs stood. The cliffs had a low fence with a sign warning people not to go beyond the fence because bits of the cliffs were always falling off.
To the right of the center was a tower, off a short hill. Walt and I decided to investigate the tower and we left the kids to do their own exploring.
You can see that the road circles off to the right and up to the tower. It looks a lot more built up today than it was in 1988. As you came down the road you came back to the center again.
You can see how wide the area is. You can barely see the tower off on the right cliff and then to the left are the really steep cliffs. Here is a guy looking over the edge.
So Walt and I got all the way to the top of the hill and investigated the tower. When we emerged and looked waaaay down the hill and off to the magnificent 390 feet tall cliffs with the walls that are always crumbling into the ocean and what did we see? Our children, who had stepped over the fence and were looking down, much like this guy is.
They were much too far away to yell at them. I told Walt then and there that if they didn't fall off the edge, I would kill them. I could hardly breathe as we rushed down the hill and got to the kids who, by the time we got to them, were back on terra firma again.
When I got angry with them, they protested that they really weren't that close to the edge and that it was just an illusion on my part, but when we got home and they got their pictures back, there were the toes on the very edge of the cliff.
Maybe it was the price I paid for making them ride like pretzels for 3 hours, but still today, whenever I look at pictures of the cliffs, my heart begins to pound all over again, even though it has been 25 years since that day.
I would love to go back to the Cliffs of Moher again some day and just enjoy it, and not spend half of the time in fear of my children falling off into the Atlantic Ocean.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The magnificent Cliffs of Moher
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