The Wandering Anthropologist

Galway and The Cliffs of Moher

Asia Borseth
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Ireland is a place that I hold very dear to my heart, I was able to travel here through a study abroad program, and there were countless adventures that I always love to talk about. 

One of the things I loved about Ireland was not only the natural beauty, but the Irish culture. Sitting around in a pub drinking a Guinness and talking for hours is just a part of an Irish day. Sometimes they were crass and they sure like to swear, but the Irish are tough. They have been through a lot and came out stronger as a nation. I had the opportunity to stay in Ireland and Northern Ireland for three weeks, and it was a few of the best weeks of my life. 

I am sure you have heard Ed Sheeran's new song Galway Girl, but have you heard the original version? Check out Galway Girl on Spotify by Irish Pub Music, I love it. I would recommend listening to it while you read this post. Or just search Irish Pub Music and shuffle play.

Anyway, Irish music is amazing, especially if you can catch a singer playing in a pub and once you are a couple Guinness deep it will sound even better.

For this post however, I wanted to talk about the Cliffs of Moher, which were touristy as you would expect, but they were incredible so I would highly recommend seeing them. We took a tour bus, which honestly was not the best, but it got us there and we . had a great time.

On this bus, the first place we stopped at was Galway, which was such a cute little town, I really wish we would have had more time there. We packed the couple hours we had by going shopping for a Claddagh ring, which is unique to Galway, we saw a beautiful church and even got to see a small outdoor market. 

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A little about the Claddagh rings is that they are often used as engagement rings, but have origins in friendship. If the ring is on the right hand and the point of the heart is going toward the fingertips, the person is single and possibly open to love. On the right hand pointed toward the heart the person is in a relationship. If the ring is on the left hand and pointed toward the fingertips the wearer is engaged, and pointed toward the heart, the person is married. It is kind of a fun way to show your relationship status in a world that is becoming increasingly digital. I'm just kidding, but in all seriousness I think that it is a beautiful little part of Irish culture.

Galway was also just a beautiful little town to walk through, but if you have the chance to stay there I would encourage you to try to stay overnight and check out the pub scene, even though we did not have the chance to.

We also stopped at the Bushmills Distillery to eat lunch and to sample some whiskey, which is where I discovered that I liked honey whiskey. I never thought I would be the kind of person that liked whiskey, but Ireland can change you like that. 

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Driving up the the Cliffs of Moher were these incredibly winding roads that reminded me of switchbacks on a hike. As the bus climbed higher and higher we say more and more of the valley which was a lush green that one would expect of Ireland. The driver even stopped a couple times to let us take pictures.

After that we headed to the highly anticipated Cliffs of Moher, which was really an incredible site to see. These Cliffs are miles high, and for most of the site, there are very little boundaries between you and the edge, which also makes it a pretty dangerous place, please be cautious if you visit. 

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As we walked along the Cliffs, there were breathtaking sites, and we were lucky enough to have a clear day to see far out into the distance. We walked down to the edge of the Cliffs and we even sat on the edge of one, even though it my heart was beating out of my chest the whole time. There is something about being that close to the edge that will really get your adrenaline pumping. 

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When you arrive at the Cliffs of Moher, there are a couple ways that you could go, they both have fantastic views. If you have time I would recommend going left and right. To the right we found cliffs we could sit on and puffins. To the left we found the famous view from The Princess Bride used as the Cliffs of Insanity. These Cliffs were also used in Harry Potter in the Half-Blood Prince when Harry and Dumbledore are searching for one of the horcruxes. This location is actually pretty close to the entrance so it is easy to find. 

The Cliffs of Moher were stunning, and while I do not alway advocate for going to the touristy locations, this is one that should not be missed.

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On our way back on the bus ride, we stopped by a location on the water that looked like a hardened field of lava rocks. Though it was not particularly noteworthy the location was very beautiful. There was even a little cove that had a jellyfish pod. We had a lot of fun messing around out there on our way back. 

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The Cliffs of Moher are a pretty popular location for tourists, have you been? Let me know what your thoughts were or if you had a different experience. Expect a lot more Irish posts to come, because I loved Ireland and I think that everyone should take a trip there.

Much Love,

Asia