In awe of rocky cliffs by the sea

Natural Wonder

In awe of rocky cliffs by the sea

However, it was only after landing there that I discovered the exotic spots this destination is blessed with. Probably, the best of them all, at least as Irish tourist authorities claim, is the uniquely spectacular vertical rocky cliffs on the Atlantic ocean. Known as the Cliffs of Moher, the stunningly attractive rock formations on the sea are indeed a tourist’s delight. 

With only a day to spare I was hard pressed to find the appropriate links on Buseirann — the national bus service, to plan a day trip to the western coast and back. So it was at the crack of dawn the next day that I hopped on a bus heading to the town of Oranmore. The lovely greenish countryside and the equally attractive mansions and farmhouses along the way made the journey an enjoyable one. After two hours, changing over to another luxurious bus I moved on to Doolin, a sleepy hamlet on the way to the cliffs. Incidentally Doolin itself, famed for its traditional folk music, is a must-see and the best time to do so is in the evening when local pubs with their typically Irish brew of Guinness and the music go ecstatic. 

As I walked up the few paces briskly, the fantastic view of the cliffs greeted me. The series of tall  precipices of limestone, rising vertically from the blue sea lashed by the frequent waves, presented an awesome sight. The cliffs formed a long time ago, extend southward along the Atlantic coast like a barrier for as long as 8 kms ending with a formation called Hag’s Head. The height of these cliffs from the seabed varies from about 400 ft to 700 ft at its highest. The rocky limestone which has patches of brown and green lichens, make a pleasant contrast with the deep blue sea fading away in the horizon.
The base of the cliffs have some eerie caves formed by the constant battering of the waves. The ferry service takes one to down to the base, but a bird’s eye view of the cliffs is more exciting. Peeping over the ledge,  I could see the rocky towers going down abysmally into the sea and a few birds flying across like tiny hang gliders. On the  western side was another tall cliff with a castle like structure on top, which is the Obrien’s Tower, named after the local landlord Cornwell Obrien who built this view tower way back in 1835, which only goes to say that visitors flocked to see this amazing view even in those days. 

These cliffs have an ecological niche too and the area has been declared as a ‘specially protected area’. With colonies of nearly 30 species of birds and about 30,000 pairs of nesting birds visiting in breeding season, the place certainly is a birds paradise, where species like the Atlantic Puffins, Hawks and Seagulls can be seen. Apart from the fantastic vistas, tourists are treated to a variety of exhibitions and films at the Interpretation Centre. Eateries, souvenir shops and an odd harpist playing a soothing tune, all add up to make the whole trip to the Cliffs of Moher complete and an everlastingly pleasant experience.

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