Galway & Cliffs of Moher

I’m back y’all! To say this month is crazy would be an understatement – between finishing my master’s degree, having friends come to stay, going on vacation, and prepping for a big move life has been nuts! But before I even begin to think about wrapping things up here in Dublin, I’d like to share a few of my recent adventures…

For the last two weeks, our good friend Mario has been staying with us and before embarking on our trip to the Continent (which you’ll be hearing about soon) we decided to show him a little bit more of Ireland. So we hopped on a bus and headed out to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

It’s amazing how quickly you realize that Dublin is so different from the rest of the country – rich, green landscape with houses scattered along country roads is way more the norm here than life in the Big Smoke. It’s my biggest regret that I haven’t gone out into the country more, but glad to have finally checked the Cliffs off my list!

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We first stopped in Galway for a little walking tour, highlights include: Galway Harbour, drinking cappuccinos on the main street, and discovering that the one-armed pan flute player (pictured above) had moved to Galway! He’s our absolute favorite street musician – I even bought his Christmas album – and we’ve been wondering where he went so imagine our surprise!

This is my second quick trip to Galway (see my last post here), but this time around the weather was WAY more beautiful and the whole town seemed so lively. We were told several times about the numerous festivals in the area, so if you’re headed out that way make sure to check out the festival schedule. Would love to stop by the oyster festival some time… 😋

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After leaving Galway, we took a few rest stops on our way towards the cliffs for photos and some delicious pub food. We used the Dublin Tour Company for our trip, which was good and ran us about 50 euro for the whole day. I’ve also taken Paddywagon Tours before, which is a little cheaper, but seemed generally the same, if you’re in the market. I do wish we’d brought our own snacks and water, though, because the rest stops throughout the day were by far our biggest expense.

None of that mattered though when we reached the Cliffs of Moher, themselves. They were as striking as I’ve been told and you seriously have no concept of how tall they are until you’re really looking over them. Some people were crazy getting super close to the edge despite the fact there was a huge landslide just a few weeks before… But even from the safety of the path, the views are spectacular.

From the visitor center we went toward the tower to see the Right Cliff first, which was smaller but very beautiful. It’s also an easier and shorter walk than the Left Cliff, if you’re not up for a hike. Then we walked along the Left Cliff (pictured directly below), which is the more popular of the two sides. Although the weather was beautiful, it also brought along the crowds, especially around midday when all the tour buses arrive. I would recommend staying nearby and getting there early if you want to avoid the masses.

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But seriously though, no complaints here. It was totally amazing and I’m so glad I got to see one of the most iconic landscapes in Ireland. Unreal stuff.

On our way home, we took another quick photo opp at The Burren, which is a national park in Ireland with a particularly unusual landscape. So unusual, in fact, that NASA used to bring astronauts to it to simulate the surface of the moon. A gorgeous spot with its bumpy rocks and jagged shoreline and kind of refreshing amongst all the lush, green landscape.

All in all, our trip took 14 hours so it was a day. And I may or may not have come home and worked on my dissertation for another 3 hours afterward. Great time management there, Maddie… But it was definitely worth the time, so if you’re looking for a great day trip out of Dublin I would definitely recommend it!

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