Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cliffs of Moher

So, I'm hanging out in Ennis, Ireland, the first city on our tour.  (The hotel has Wi-Fi, but said Wi-Fi is temperamental.  I managed to get the post up last night, but tonight, I have to try one with photos.)

I regret (well, not really regret -- "regret" doesn't quite capture it; it's more of "this happened, oh well") that I can't really explain anything that I saw today.  Our tour guide (Lauren) is quite nice, but she has a habit of burying the lead.  Which is to say, she starts off talking about something that seems totally uninteresting, so I kind of tune her out -- then, the next thing I know, it ends up at something relevant, and I sort of wish I'd been paying attention.  So, I mean, a random discussion of Irish geology (seriously, geology) ended with, "So that explains the cool thing you're about to see," and then I thought, "yeah, probably should have listened to that one."  

(I admit, also, that Lauren is at her most amusing when she just totally misspeaks.  Within the first five minutes, she said something about how we're listening "tentatively," which cracked me the hell up.)

So, to the photos.  We got out to the Cliffs of Moher (that's the Cliffs of Insanity to you).  I was pretty excited about seeing said cliffs as, on my previous trip to Ireland, it was raining cats, dogs and amphibians the day we went to the Cliffs of Moher.  I didn't get any pictures because my non-waterproof camera couldn't have handled the downpour, and remained safely in my pocket for the duration.  This time, I am pleased to report I actually got out there when it was not raining!  (Actually, it then started raining, but I had already taken the pictures.)

(Poorly.  The Wi-Fi is going really poorly.  Six attempts at adding photos later, and -- although the Wi-Fi signal claims to be strong -- Blogger is having a hell of a time saving the post and connecting to Picasa.)

Screw it.  I've got to get to sleep because it's an early morning tomorrow.  At some point, there will be one nice photo of the Cliffs of Moher, a random pic of O'Brien's Tower at said cliffs (which, itself, isn't particularly exciting, but it's nice for scale), and a picture of a stone tomb at the Burren, about which I've got precious little, as that's where I sorta zoned out on Lauren.  But it's neat -- the land around it is all broken stone, which has been eroded away from underneath.  (Or some such other geologically interesting thing.)  Honestly, I realize I am amazingly lucky to be here and that I should be taking it all in, but I do get a bit sleepy on bus tours and tend to skip the science lessons.

The bus ride did get rather more interesting upon impact.  It was around the time Lauren was tempting fate talking about what an awesome driver our driver is (which he is), and some tourist in a rental car (who is not as awesome as our driver) misjudged the clearance and clipped the tour bus.  (Much waiting around followed, as relevant information was exchanged.)

We ultimately got back to the hotel about an hour before dinner -- and about a half hour before the shops closed.  This was kind of important, as Lauren suggested this was our last stop in a real town for about a week, so if we needed any supplies, we should get them tonight.  I went out on a mission for anti-blister-stuff for me and a some nuts for my mom to snack on.

The anti-blister-stuff was easy because, in about 3 blocks of street, there were about 5 pharmacies.  The nuts were a problem.  I thought I'd go into the place labelled "[Somebody] Family Grocer."  Surprise!  It's a pub.  Then I figured I'd try the place labelled "Market."  Surprise!  It's a restaurant.  I was pretty sure I understood English, but the signs in this town were taking me down and I only had about 15 minutes left.  I tried a "Euro Store" (the equivalent of a "Dollar Store") and it had lots of candy, but no nuts.  I was pretty much about to give up when I happened upon a convenience store (two doors down from the pharmacy I'd been in at the start of this journey) -- success!

Back to the hotel for our Welcome Dinner (nummy), with some Irish folk music performed live to entertain us.  (An accordian, a banjo, a flute, two harps, a singer and a step-dancer.)  They were quite good, and played lots of reels, which made me a happy camper.  (Also some slip-jigs -- I'm not entirely sure what they are, and, were the internet working, I'd look that up -- but they were cool, too.)  I can't quite put my finger on what a reel is, either, but I know one when I hear it, because you can hear the music roll (and not the way a polka rolls; reels unwind more), and I quite enjoy them.

Er, screw it.  I'm rambling disjointedly as I'm tired and I'm peeved at my inability to post what I'd wanted.  I'm just going to try to post this, finish up my packing, and catch some z's.

1 comment:

pego said...

Funny, we were rained on at the Cliffs, too. It was sunny, then rain for 10 minutes, then sunny again. The hike past the Tower offered great views, perilously close to the ocean.

Portal Tomb? Loved the Burren area. It used to be the bottom of a sea, you see...