Ireland Stole My Heart and It Can Keep It

I’ve only been in Ireland for about 24 hours, but this country has stolen my heart.

We got into Dublin pretty late, and after checking into our hostel we went promptly to bed. I have never stayed in a hostel before, but this one is extremely nice. It’s still what you would expect from a hostel, but it’s clean, there are lots of bathrooms, and I can lock up my things. I’m staying in a twenty-four-bed-mixed “dormitory,” which really means I’m in a big room with 12 bunk beds with dudes and chicks. It’s a pretty neat experience, and call me weird, but there is something cool about sharing a sleeping space with people you will never see again.

The showers though. Meh.

On to the pretty stuff.

We took a tour to the Cliffs of Moher. I had NO IDEA it was on the west coast of Ireland. No clue. I spent most of the bus ride sleeping, but when I was awake I had the joy of speaking with the Malaysian gentleman next to me. He was traveling in Ireland with his family to celebrate his niece graduating from university. He told me all about the places he had been to, and told me I simply must travel India- ALL of India. Hey, I didn’t disagree. Sign me up.

On the way to the Cliffs, we made a few stops, including what our tour-guide called the “mini cliffs.” I’m sure there is a proper name for them, and I tried finding it online, but everyone calls them the mini cliffs so whatever.

An astonishing thing to me is how there are ancient abbeys and monasteries and walls and castle ruins just sitting in the Irish countryside, untouched. I’m an American, humor me. We have nothing of that sort in the United States, since it is still, in comparison to the rest of the world, a young country. Our tour guide mentioned something about how faeries in Ireland aren’t the faeries we think about, with pretty dresses and beauty. Instead, they are scary creatures who protect these ancient places. This myth must have some truth to it, since there are so many of these places left standing.

Now. The Cliffs of Moher. Astonishing. Amazing. Oh. My. Goodness. I. Don’t. Have. Enough. Adjectives. But. Maybe. All. Off. These. Periods. Get. The. Point. Across.

Or maybe some pictures will do.

The unfortunate thing was the fog. But the fortunate thing was the fog. It’s complicated. I would have LOVED to see the cliffs on a clear day, I’ve seen pictures of them like that, and I would have very much liked to have taken my own pictures like that. However, I liked that we had fog because it set such a different mood to the trip. It was more mystifying, in a way. When I think of Ireland, I think of two things: the color green, and the word magic. I guess I’m still a total kid at heart, but being on those cliffs, being surrounded by fog, not being able to see the ocean below or fifty meters in front of you… All of those things made me feel like I was in a transcendental place. It’s hard to explain.

When we got back to Dublin, we went out. The night life here is something else. We went to a pub where there was Irish music and Celtic dance and oh my gosh it was so wonderful. The musicians poked fun at my group a little bit, commenting how we were quiet Americans, which I guess is a rarity over here. I took a lot of pictures on my light-sensitive Fuji Natura, so those photos will pop up eventually.

And that’s my first day in this wonderful country. Tomorrow I’m heading up to Northern Ireland with some friends to see the Dark Hedges and the Giant’s Causeway. If those places are anything like the Cliffs of Moher, I may not be able to leave this gorgeous place.

Happy shooting!

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