Road Trip along the Wild Atlantic Way
On my first journey I entered Irish soil only after dusk.
Since I only had a few days for myself and the daylight period in November is short, I didn't want to leave a second of this light unused.
I left my accommodation before breakfast and made my way to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Near Killimer my surroundings began to get colorful and I took the first opportunity to have a look at the shore.
I was exactly where I wanted to be - somewhere at the end of the world.
It was raining, and so I decided to drive on with the car and hope for better weather on the way.
Carrigaholt is a small fishing village in County Clare.
On the way to Loop Head Lighthouse I would have driven through the village almost just like that.
If there hadn't been all these colorful fishing boats in the harbor at low tide, just lying on the sand.
That looked quite surreal in the fog.
Just behind the small fishing port I spotted the ruins of an old castle.
It was built around the year 1480 by the McMahon Clan, because at that time such castles were needed everywhere at strategically important points to defend against potential intruders.
When I then, on that gloomy day in November, stomped with rubber boots through a soggy meadow, looked over an ancient crumbled wall and this scenery opened in front of me, I could hardly believe it.
So mystical and so fallen out of time that every legend of Leprechauns immediately seemed believable to me.
Loop Head Lighthouse
My first visit to the Loop Head lighthouse was marked by an intense encounter with the autumn weather on the Atlantic coast. It was stormy, so stormy that I could hardly stand on my feet. Also, the wind came in gusts, which did not make it any easier to walk and stand. I stemmed against the wind, I stumbled I ran backwards, raindrops whipped me in the face.
Nevertheless, or just because of it, this lighthouse and the dramatic cliffs on which it stands has become a place that impressed me deeply and helped to shape my image of Ireland.
Bridges of Ross
The neighborhood to a well-known natural monument lets everything else around it sink in disregard. This is a pity in this case, because the view in the other direction is worth seeing. I stood here, despite the stormy weather, for almost half an hour and looked spellbound at the original force and the power with which the sea hits the rugged coastal rocks. What incredible powers become visible here makes my devotion to nature grow.
Later, of course, I visited the Bridges of Ross as well, after all they were the ones who lured me here.
Once the West Clare Railway operated a railway line through Ennistymon, connecting Ennis with the coastal towns and villages of West Clare. Although long gone, the memory is still kept alive by a song by Percy French who, before becoming one of the most successful songwriters and entertainers of his time, lost his fortune with an unfortunate investment in a distillery and then failed as editor of a weekly comic newspaper. In 1896, on his way to a concert in Kilkee, his train had to pick up water in Ennistymon, unfortunately grass came into the boiler of the locomotive. Because of the danger of explosion, the driver decided to take the boiler off the steam and wait for a replacement engine. As this took five hours, Mr. French came so late to his own concert that almost the entire audience was already gone. Later he sued the railway company for his loss of income and wrote the song "Are ye right there Michael?", which can still be heard in pubs and clubs in the area.
Cliffs of Moher
After all the lonely hours I had driven in wind, rain and fog through a terrific nature, the gigantic parking lot seemed like a strange planet to me. I didn't want to imagine what crowds you would meet here in summer. But now, in November, this parking lot was as well as empty and I could experience this beautiful location almost alone. The fog painted the Cliffs of Moher in an almost mystical atmosphere and while hiking, everything first appeared out of nowhere and left a lot of room for the fantasy of what it might be. On closer examination, all gnomes, goblins and other mythical creatures turned into medieval towers, spectacular rock formations or remains of old stone walls.
I was not prepared for this sight at all. I drove, on the way to the coast, over an inconspicuous hill and there Doonagore Castle lay simply completely suddenly before me.
The loneliness, the sea in the background, the rain, the fog and nothing that would indicate the 21st century in any way.
The sea seemed unnaturally big and the castle tower somehow small and lost - absolutely unreal.
Doonagore Castle was restored in the 70s and is now privately owned.