The Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher

WOOOOO HI EVERYONE! Settle in with a mug of tea (no milk, we are not milky-tea people) and let me tell you about my trip last weekend to the famed Aran Islands and the rock formations adored by geologists everywhere: the Cliffs of Moher. We took the Paddy Wagon again this trip because it’s much easier than planning everything ourselves, and why do anything yourself if someone else can do it for you? But seriously, the Paddy Wagon staff are friendly and knowledgeable (except the guy who works in their Washington Street office—we figure he was once a Vic Lodge reception member). We piled onto the bus around 1pm on Friday, where I met 2 girls I’d gone sailing with the weekend before. Sean, our tour guide, played some Irish music and some American Top 40, the two varieties one  can find on a given Irish radio station. It was a few hours to get to Galway, where we were staying for the next two nights. Norah, Alison and I found a Mexican restaurant to our great delight, and then we sat in a pub to listen to some Irish music. We were back at the hostel and in bed by 10:30.

The next day we were up early to visit the Aran Islands. We drove through Connemara, which is the raw, rugged terrain some people might associate rural Ireland with. When we got to the ferry terminal, Sean realized that he wanted to write down everyone’s descriptions, so that if someone got lost on the island he could ask around for them. So he took the next 10 minutes writing down the following descriptions:

Alicia: Belgium, brown hair

Jackie: U.S., brown hair

Norah: U.S., brown hair

John: U.S., short hair

and so on for each person on the bus. As it turns out, 90% of the people on the bus had either brown hair or short hair, or both. When he was almost done, one girl asked, “couldn’t we just take  a group picture?”

Sean thought this was a marvelous idea, so he took out his phone and took a group picture of us. But it was on his phone and he didn’t come with us on the ferry, so somewhere in his camera roll he has all of us brown-haired Paddy Wagon tourists in case he ever needs to find us.

The ferry ride to the island was really nice, but the island itself was the coldest I’ve been here. But that didn’t stop us. We tromped all over the island, running on the beach, checking out the Wollen Mills and climbing over surprisingly sturdy rock walls (we may have been trespassing–oops. But to our credit there was no civilization where we were so we weren’t bothering anyone or blatantly hiking through people’s yards while making steady and unnerving eye contact). On the way to a crumbly temple on the top of a hill, we stopped and patted some friendly donkeys, and tried less successfully to make friends with some fuzzy cows. I tripped while approaching one, startling it, and Alison threw some grass at another in an attempt to feed it (apparently she’s never tried to feed an animal) and also startled it. So we left the cows alone after that.

The best part of the trip was the stop at the Cliffs of Moher, which we drove through the little town of Doolin to see (although unfortunately we didn’t stop there Mr. and Mrs. Doolen). The cliffs were overwhelming, and my fear of heights kicked in (“ALISON STEP AWAY FROM THE EDGE” “NORAH AT LEAST 3 LIMBS ON THE EARTH AT ALL TIMES” “MORE PEOPLE DIE FROM SELFIES THAN SHARK ATTACKS” “SOMEDAY WE WILL DIE BUT LET IT NOT BE THIS DAY”, etc.) But the cliffs were gorgeous, and we were blessed with dry weather the whole weekend. This week I also had 2 midterms and I think they went well, so it was nice getting those over with. Tomorrow morning I am off to London, so I will be sure to take notes of all the weird stuff the Brits do so I can shamelessly make fun of it here.  Also, in order to blend in, I will strut about and say in a spot-on British accent, “quite right,” “jolly-o” “I DO say” and “capital!” as one does in England.

Have a good rest of the week everyone!

❤ Jackie

cliffs of moher


One thought on “The Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher

  1. Dear Jackieincork,

    As a friend of your mum’s, I feel I should encourage you to try to adopt milky-tea drinking for the sake of your skeletal health. Young women do need their calcium! Try pouring milk into one’s cup prior to the tea. This helps take the chill off the milk because if you think milky tea is bad, try lukewarm milky tea. It’s rubbish!


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