The Cliffs of Moher, Beer, and More Beer
I made a quick trip to Ireland in between Krakow and Edinburgh, during which I checked a few more attractions off my list and of course, drank some beer.
Cliffs of Moher
I woke up from a few hours sleep in the hostel in Galway after a late night bus from the Dublin airport, ventured to the front desk, and selected some brochures for the Cliffs of Moher tours. I then signed up for the “express tour” because it was the only tour that had not already departed. I grabbed coffee and nourishment from a local bakery and headed to the bus station. Once on the bus, I listened to her Harry Potter audiobook and watched the Irish countryside passed by through the window. The “express tour” consisted of a bus that drove to the Cliffs and drove back a few hours later without any other stops or a fancy guide. Perfect for someone with limited time who booked the tour the day of.
Upon arriving at the destination, I disembarked from the bus and walked along the paths that trace the cliffs. Photographs do not do these amazing geological structures justice as they are much higher and grander than they appear. I had spent roughly a month in the middle of the European continent and here at the cliffs she realized just how much I had missed the ocean, salt air, and the sea breeze. I nearly ruined my boots strolling through a muddy field to avoid an area of the path that was a multiple foot deep puddle but the amazing views were well worth it. I ended my express tour in the visitor’s center where I randomly spotted my mother’s family crest. I slept on the return journey, continuing to amaze myself at my newly acquired skill of being able to sleep literally anywhere.
I had been in Ireland once before for a mere eight hours and did not have any time to actually observe or absorb any of the culture. After returning from the Cliffs of Moher, I consumed an amazing dinner of instant noodles and rice cakes and peanut butter and then set out to find a traditional Irish bar with live music. Luckily, Galway was not in wont of Irish bars and I ducked inside one on a busy pedestrian street. I continued to attempt to absorb the local flavor literally and tried the Galway Hooker. I also photographed the beer because standing by one’s self in a crowded bar not doing anything is awkward and I needed something to do.
I do not have a refined enough beer palette to provide an accurate assessment of this beer but I drank two pints, if that says anything. I ventured into other bar where I befriended a
soccer football team and joined in their pub crawl. Whilst I did not witness any live traditional Irish music, the football team sang and jumped on tables so close enough.
I left Galway the following day and headed to Dublin, where I stayed with my very kind and generous great aunt and uncle. They provided me with a place to stay and many delicious meals. I had one full day to explore Dublin and felt I had seen many of the important sights on my last trip so I decided to visit the Guinness Storehouse.
I have done a few other brewery tours but the Guinness was by far the most thorough and complete. The tour explained the components and creation of beer as well as the history of the Guinness company itself, including commercials and marketing. The commercials exhibit allowed visitors to insert themselves in a Guinness advertisement.
I most enjoyed a video showing how coopers created casks. The tour ended with a complimentary beer in the Gravity Bar.
I still have many places in Ireland I would like to visit but my next visit will definitely include the county with which I share a name!