Today is in the books and I am wiped out. After I posted this morning we headed down to Hawrth to explore the village around the bay. It was another lovely little town, albeit a little touristy. We were scheduled to stay in the area for about 2 hours and then to head back to the city as a group as it was a little bit of a complicated trip, for those unfamiliar to Dublin. After poking around the towns various shops and stopping for something to eat the two hours pretty much flew right by. There was one attraction the area had to offer that I simply didn’t have time for, the Howth Cliff Walk. Seeing as how I didn’t quite get that ‘wow’ picture I wanted from the Cliffs of Moher, I wanted another crack at taking the camera out and capturing something truly beautiful. I mentioned to my advisors that I’d like to stay behind and take the trail. Before I got the ok Liz asked me “You think you’ll be able to make it back to the apartments alright?” at which I just kind of laughed and responded with something along the lines of “Well I’ve already been lost in Dublin once and I made it home, so I’m not really worried about it.” It’s funny cause its true. I never really considered myself adventurous, though over the last few days Sarah, my girlfriend, begs to differ as I’ve filled her in on my journey through Ireland the last few days. I’ve never really been afraid to venture off in to a strange city alone. To me its more an innate need to know things, my mind can’t stand not having the answers or incomplete information. I always want to know where this road goes or if there’s something interesting over there, and if there is a chance to see something I might only have one shot at seeing my mind demands I do its bidding. I may have a small case of wanderlust.
I’m glad I listened to that little voice because the Cliff Walk was breathtaking. There are a few different marked trails that start out the back end of the city and wind around the coast, the route I took was about 6.5 km or roughly 4 miles. I took my time and stopped to take three hundred pictures or so, of which 4 or 5 of them definitely check off that “wowzer” box. I sat along the rock formations, let the wind blow in my face and stared out in to the sea and contemplated just how truly bless I am to be here today. Most people can’t stand being alone but today I brushed up against serenity sitting alone just me, my thoughts, God, and nature. Everything else on this trip is just gravy after that. My recommendation for anyone that has ever considered coming to Ireland, I say “Do it, and make sure you walk the Cliff Walk” it was amazing. The only complaint I have is that my camera died right before I rounded the final bend that opens up to an amazing vista looking over a rock outcrop and a lighthouse. It was so beautiful I had to sit down for a few minutes, as well as curse profusely at my camera for not cooperating (I said brush up against serenity, not reach nirvana). It is moments like that, why, I’ll continue to walk into the unfamiliar unafraid. There’s beauty hidden everywhere, and dammit I want to see it.
Final thought: Just because we wander from the path doesn’t mean we’re truly lost.