Day 6: Moher, Please

Craic (pronounced “crack”), is a Gaelic word that means “for the joy” or “for the fun” of something. Today was a day filled with spontaneous craic.

We were surprised with a small detour to a small village where Cutty’s Pub prepared for us free scones, cream, jam and coffee or tea. The scones were delicious. They were like eating sweet, flaky buttermilk biscuits. And the cream and jam were decadent. The local farmers’ market was going on as well and it was fun to see a fish monger vending fresh mackerel wrapped in newspaper from his ice cold styrofoam cooler.

We then had a small detour to St. Bridgid’s shrine. To be honest, I was full from my morning snack that I had fallen asleep and missed the historical and religious importance of this shrine. Instead I stepped off the bus for fresh air and talked, laughed and cursed like an Irishman with Patrick, our local bus driver.

We went 5 minutes down the road to the Cliffs of Moher (pronounced like “more”) and walked up the ramps and looked over the stone walls at the crashing waves and sheer cliffs and circling birds that had taken off from their little nests built on the cliffs’ nooks & crannies. I didn’t mind that it was an overcast, brisk day with an occasional drizzle. I felt like the weather added to all the numerous legends and tales about the Cliffs I read about in the Visitors’ Center.

After that, we stopped at Bunratty Castle. Kristin and I had our day’s fill of castles (which are cool and which we did tour quickly, but there was so much touring going on in the day that it felt like every corner of Ireland was covered with ancient churches, monasteries, castles and pubs). We spent a good portion of our time taking pictures of each other in front of the castle and angling the camera just right so we looked like giants storming the castle. Apparently we amused some of our tour mates who took pictures of us taking giant pictures of ourselves.

We ended the day with dinner and entertainment at a 500 year old castle. We drank mead and watched young men and women dance the really cool Irish jigs that began in medieval times and listened to traditional Irish songs and violin and harp music. It was fantastic and it inspired our tour guide Ann and an Irish man turned Australian, Noel, to start singing “Galway Bay” when we were back on the bus. Noel led all of us in a stirring rendition of “Oh Danny Boy” and by the time we had reached the parking lot we had sung Canada’s & Australia’s national anthems, “God Bless America”, and “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. It was safe to say that we were all on craic.