Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Cliffs of Insanity!

First of all, happy birthday to the most beautiful, amazing, smart, wonderful woman in the entire universe:  Liz!  She's 20 today, and doesn't look a day past 19!  Love her!

Back on the long bank weekend of May 6, a very close friend of mine from business school, who also happens to be working abroad, took a few days of his valuable vacation time to spend with us.  To make the most of this, we booked a lot of trips and treks around Ireland.

The first big excursion was to the west coast; Galway, the Cliffs of Mohor, and a passage tomb called Poulnabrone.

Galway was interesting as sort of a cute Irish coastal village, but due to the parking meter only accepting coins and our shortage of such, we could only wander around for fourty-five minutes, grab some lunch, and then hit the road.

Galway  has this famous stone archway door in the Eyre Square . . .

The kids clearly enjoying themselves immensely . . .

Is it too late to point out a spelling error?

Time for some authentic Irish eats . . . sorta . . .

Pretty much glad we only had an hour in Galway because I was a little underwhelmed at that point.

Now onto the MAIN EVENT, what I've been wanting to see for a  LONG time . . .


Actually, Ireland's amazing Cliffs of Mohor, one of its greatest natural wonders.

Luckily for us, the weather was mostly cooperative so we got a really good clear perspective of cliffs.

 A real Irish shamrock! Actually, I don't think they are.  Oh well.

Now, I have to take a second to editorialize.  Maybe it's because I'm naturally risk adverse, or maybe it's because I've made something of a career of risk management, or maybe it's because I have a fear of heights, or dying a horrible death, I dunno, but it just seems to me very foolish to see how close you can get to 700 foot cliffs.

This couple, for example,searching for the perfect shot ventured off the trail, down the wet grass toward to ledge.  Seems silly to me.  That photo may be your last, lady.

Obviously, the cliffs aren't as insane as its visitors.  This group ventured right down to the precipice.  Notice that tiny golden "M" on the girl's handbag?  That golden "M" is the University of Michigan, so I'm assuming this is an American college student.  She needs take a class in risk management.  Probability of event x loss given event.  I don't know about the first variable, but the second I'm fairly certain is asymptotically close to 1.

 OK, last one;this guy is sitting on a granite tableau that overhangs the cliff. Below him is a straight drop to the rocky shore, some 600 feet below. His legs are dangling an he's leaning over to get a nice view.

So am I just being paranoid?  Am I just not being adventurous enough?  Am I just a big wimpy baby?

I just don't understand why people, when given the choice between a path behind an earthen wall some 6 feet away from the cliff's edge would prefer to walk on a path that is the cliff's edge.  There is absolutely NO difference in the view between the two paths.

Rant over.

After the cliffs we drove out and about the countryside.  The soil here has largely eroded away exposing the limestone bedrock; it's about as close to a wasteland as I've seen in Ireland.  It stood in very stark contrast to the lush, verdant hills I'd had seen to this point.

Also out here was a very old portal tomb.  This one is Poulnabrone, perhaps one of the more famous ancient ruins in Ireland. The weather had really taken a turn for the worse at this point so we didn't stay long, but the place was impressive. It seems it was constructed as a tomb; how remains largely a mystery.  The capstone itself weighs several tons.  The fact that neolithic laborers were able to make something last over 4,000 years is pretty remarkable as well.  That's older than Stonehenge; older than the pyramids!

David, doing his best to fight the increasingly foul wind and rain.  It was a full day, so we packed it up and headed out.  The drive home was nice as I had the GPS avoid toll roads, which subsequently routed us through the country roads and towns.  It also gave us more time to chat and catch up on what's happened in our lives the past few years.  

But his was only the first adventure . . .

1 comment:

  1. Just seeing the pictures of the insane visitors peering over the cliffs make me nervous! Egads!?!

    Thanks for sharing your fun adventures with us!

    Happy Birthday, Liz!!