Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Cliffs of Moher
Welcome to the Cliffs of Moher. They're a popular tourist attraction in County Clare, Ireland. Mike and I chose to visit from the water as opposed to the typical visitor's center, which sits atop the cliffs. It was a good choice. From Doolin, a boat took us close to the rocks and as you can imagine our cameras never stopped clicking! Its hard to imagine the grandeur of these Atlantic facing cliffs, but from its feet one feels very small.
The short sail in was exciting.
Closer and closer we came.
Larger and larger they seemed.
O'Brien's Tower sits high on the cliff. It can be seen from a great distance. It was built in 1835 for the purpose of tourism. Can you imagine? Way back then, such a tower raised not for the sake of protection, but to bring foreigners to the region to benefit the economy. I'm not sure the tower is why they came, but the cliffs themselves certainly pull a great deal of tourists to this place.
While looking through my many photos of these cliffs,
I noticed this interesting one...
A figure is walking in.
As I zoomed in for a closer look, I realized it was only an opening and not a free standing rock like some of the others around the cliffs. Its an optical illusion for me. At times I can see it as a three-dimensional stone figure walking into the alcove. It reminded me of Luka Bloom's song, Fertile Rock. In it he speaks of footsteps. Footsteps of an ancient race. Footsteps of those who passed here before us. Or possibly the figure of Mary... kneeling before Ireland (in prayer?) as if to protect it?
Its an interesting angle of an opening in the rocks. One second earlier or later from a moving boat and the image would be gone...
As we were leaving, the sky opened up.
You almost remain speechless in the midst of such beauty. With the wonderful shapes and colors our world holds for us, its no wonder artists are everywhere, inspired to capture the amazement before them.