Even if it was raining all the time in Ireland, we loved it. I’m sure you’re wondering how anyone could love rain, but just wait a minute; there is some real evidence of the beauty of the Emerald Isle.
After spending a few days in Limerick, we drove the 100 km to the coast to see the famed Cliffs of Moher.
This is the lookout tower, O’Brien’s Tower, at 214 meters or 700 feet above sea level, built of local stone by Cornelius O’Brien in 1835, a descendant of the High King of Ireland.
On a clear day, apparently, you can see across to the Aran Islands and Galway Bay to the side. While that would have been nice, the mystical quality of the cliffs shimmering in the mist was simply awesome for us.
When you look down and to the right, you can see a puffin colony. They are really cute.
We could see why there is an Irish Folk Song called the Cliffs of Moher, and also why an Irish woman sometimes stands on the cliffs playing the harp and singing the folk song. That must be a little eerie but magnificent as well.
I wanted to walk down this road to Hags Head, but when T told me it was 4 km each way (in the rain), I figured these breathtaking views were plenty.
You see – it’s true: there is a magical quality about Ireland. Did you ever see grass such a brilliant emerald green? Can you feel the wildness of rock and water? Can you imagine the Celts galloping across the countryside on a hunt, or erecting a massive stone castle?
Doolin, a charming tranquil village, is just 5 km from the Cliffs of Moher, so we stopped in for a “pint”, where the fire was blazing, and the Guinness was refreshing.
That evening, back in Limerick, we found Moll Darby’s Restaurant which we had read was worth checking for its great food. Indeed, we were not disappointed.
The Mussels in Cream appetizer was a first for me and I was a little hesitant, but T’s enthusiasm convinced me to try some. I squeamishly tried one, then another, then another! I couldn’t stop eating them. Absolutely delicious.
I had ordered a different appetizer because I didn’t think I would like the mussels. Poor T only got half an appetizer (his favourite, no less) while I got an appetizer and a half. Swwwweet.
There was an assortment of breads including the traditional dark Irish Soda Bread, soft and hearty.
T had salmon for his main course, cooked perfectly.
Since I had almost two appetizers and I desperately wanted dessert, I skipped the main course. My favourite meals are simply appetizers plus dessert. I mean really, who needs a main course?!
To top off the delectable meal, the view outside was even more memorable. It was pouring. The rain glimmered through the golden lamp lights as sheets fell straight down, and a sheen of water shone on the street.
Did you notice the way the rain makes everything sparkle and shimmer? It makes everything in Ireland seem shiny and bright.
Did you see the reflections of the rain as it falls from the sky, the mist wavering through the street lights, and the raindrops dancing on the street? Each of them add to the mystery and magic of the Emerald Isle.
There’s something else about the rain. Did you ever notice how easy it is to breath during and after a rain? The air is fresh and moist, and full of oxygen. Trees produce more oxygen when it rains because photosynthesis needs that good water. Rain removes impurities and pollutants from the air including carbon dioxide, so there is more oxygen in the air when it rains. The air is denser when it is cooler so again the oxygen concentration are higher. One feels better just because of breathing in all that energizing oxygen. That’s the part we like best. You actually feel better and healthier when you are in Ireland! Maybe that’s why the Irish are so perky and full of mischief.
Speaking of mischief, did you notice the wee elves crouched in corners? They were there… look just under a leaf or under that eave or over there behind that stone. They tend to hide to get out of the rain in Ireland, but they cast a spell on us, that’s for certain.