Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Cliffs of Moher and More

By Claire
We had such a wonderful day yesterday, we decided to put off our visit to the Cliffs of Moher until today. Lucky for us, we woke to bright blue sky. Driving the winding, narrow back roads to the site was an adventure in itself. Am I beginning to repeat myself? We finally found the place where you must pay €8 to park, though the site itself is free. The Visitors Center and exhibit costs €4, which we decided to forgo. Instead, we walked up to the viewing spots and took it in.

It has become rather commercial, as everything else in the world has, but the view really was breathtaking and we even ran into Steven and Susan from our Burren hike yesterday. Small world indeed. There is now a castle cafe and gift shop with a €2 charge to go to the top. We skipped that too.

Looking around, you can imagine how it must have been before tourism swept through.

We thought these "non" Moher cliffs were pretty great too. And how about that ledge? On the right you can see the steps leading up to the viewing spots.

Our real goal today was a visit with our friends Bart and Marion, who are managing the Sunyata Buddhist retreat centre in Sixmilebridge, Ireland. Chuck and Bart met 46 years ago in graduate school and Bart officiated at our wedding. They moved here two years ago and we were anxious to see them and get caught up. Along the way, I spotted a very cute thatch roofed cottage and Chuck pulled over so I could take a picture. Walking up to it, a farmer asked me where I was going. I told him I wanted to take a picture. He told me it would be an expensive picture and I asked him why? He charges €2 for a photo. I told him no thanks and went on my way. I was flabbergasted! Has the level of greed really reached this point? Or is it desperation? Is this area just one big tourist zone?

We found our way to the retreat centre with the help of Susan and a local person in town. Up we went through more and more narrow roads, praying another car would not come--there was absolutely no room to pull over and no way two cars would fit. Up a steep hill and over the top to their lovely location with beautiful views of the valley below.

Sunyata office--I'm inside, writing this blog post.


We took a stroll down a nicely mown pathway to this lovely waterfall. The grounds are really pretty with lots of flowers, thanks to Bart.

Chuck and Bart

Bart took us on a tour, including the meditation hall and dormitory.

Meditation hall

We had a good visit--there is so much to talk about when you are far from home and living completely new lives. They really like it here and plan to stay. The setting is definitely beautiful.

If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough. ~ Irish Saying

1 comment:

Elle in Italy said...

Nice. The yoga room induces immediate good sensations, makes up for the world's silly people... that poor man! He will never experience The Divine Surplus if he doesn't know how to share his own abundance.

Your trip just keeps going better and better. Maybe it will keep being a trip even after you land at "home."

I sure hope you write postscripts.

I just realized you both traveled or a year and aside from Claire's ankle, I don't recall any mishaps or illness! Namaste'.