Salty fresh sea air permeates my senses. Wind brazes my skin in a sultry fierce fashion. The only lone sounds are of lapping waves and distant calls from the multitude of native Puffins. White specks flying gracefully, floating in figure eights. Few come billowing over the Northern cliff’s edge, mere feet from where I stand. While some remain lingering near their makeshift nests, nestled along the sharp crags.
Thoughts of longing accompany my unfocused gaze into the distance. Far away, yet not quite as far as the white interval, where sky and sea meet. A flood of memories consume me, one after another, overpowering me into an unmistakeable state of melancholy. I feel as though I’m in a purgatorial trance, reliving every loss and every pain and every last word I never could say.
Blinking for the first time in what seemed like hours, I wipe away the single tear that escaped from my eyes. There’s a powerful force at work here in Ireland, one of great reminiscence and sorrow. Alone I stand at the cliff’s edge, where one strong gust of wind could topple me over into a steep 400 foot dive, to the bottom of the rocky shores.
The time of day is just before sunset in early April, the chill of winter still thriving in the air and the tumult of tourism are at bay for a little while longer. A few families are visible in the distance, above the Southern band of cliffs, but are unheard from where I stand. I feel alone in solitude, at the mercy of my moody revel. I can’t explain what came over me, besides that I’m sure I’m not the first and I know I’m not the last to feel the euphoric onslaught of the past, here on this land.
Momentous, sovereign and cruel – three words that I would describe the Cliffs of Moher, by first sight. Although, judging by mere eye can not solely describe this powerful landscape. Esoteric and omniscient, perhaps. Ancestral forces may have been at work here today, or maybe it’s just a simple coincidence. Possibly it’s just my time to face what I’ve decisively ignored thus far, deep feelings of perdition with the result of edification.
Checking my watch, I realized that I’ve dawdled much too long and must be off. The tiny village of Doolin is only a five minute drive and it’s an hour shy of the night’s festivities. Feverishly unpacking my effects at the Aille River hostel, I managed to wash up and hastily set off just in time.
Doolin is one of those quintessential places that let you experience everything you’ve dreamt it would be like – or at least it was for me and my comrades. I want you to think of your ideal experience of Ireland, as it’s likely the same as I imagined prior to my travels of this past April. Beautiful views of a humble village, a pub of locals and other friendly faces passing the hours of night without an eye at a clock. Whilst having the time of their lives, accompanied with rounds of flowing pints and cheerful moods, inspired by vibrant local song.
A beautiful sunset snuck over the tiny village that sat atop the rolling hills that slyly merged into the sandy coast. Within the village, I followed a steady pace of locals and travelers alike, sauntering to the edge of town. Where the faint rattle of makeshift drums and the speedy shrill of a violin were able to be heard. I was traveling alone this night, separated from my travel companions who already visited two nights prior. I sat at the closest empty table near the duo performing a traditional Irish verse.
Their entire bodies were emphatic in motion, smacking their occasional freehand on their knee as their feet kept the steady beat. Faster and faster they played, as the pub was alit with merriment, cheers and a playful revel. Joining my table, I passed the time making new friends from Germany and Switzerland. We shared in hilarious personal stories, we put cultural rumors and ill-perceived perceptions to rest, while enjoying what seemed like an endless supply of the black elixir Guinness stout. That night will forever be my fondest memory of my three week trek through Europe.
Travel Article submitted by Brandon Elijah Scott. You can read more from Brandon on his blog Eye & Pen.