cliff

Cliffs of Moher

Stop #20:

Located in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher run for about 14 km and are 400 feet high. From the cliffs, you can faintly see the Aran islands in the background. On the day that we were there, winds were so strong that it was hard to even get out of or into the car. We had to keep shifting our weight from one foot to the other to make sure we didn’t get blown over! You can see in one of the photos how the winds coming over the top of the cliffs carried raindrops in the opposite direction from which they had just fallen!

Ring of Kerry

Stop#3:
The Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer-long tourist route in County Kerry, Ireland. We drove the route counter-clockwise to avoid being on the outside lane on all the cliffs that plummeted to the sea (Ireland drives on the left side of the road)! If you ever drive this road, be prepared for a harrowing experience. Somehow, the speed limit is 100 km/hr, but you feel like you are about to risk your life at 60 km/hr, so there must be much better drivers in Ireland!

On the trip, we encountered high winds, hail, snow, sleet, rain, and just about every other form of precipitation you can think of. Gratefully, we drove this road during the least likely day for packs of tourists to be traveling all over the place. This meant we had most sites to ourselves. Maybe it was cold, but it was a small price to pay!

Nazaré (Nazare), Portugal

Stop #32:

Nazaré has become synonymous with surfing and big waves.  They are the biggest waves in the world.  The town isn’t the quaint Portuguese fishing village it once was.  But it is still beautiful with cliffs and sand that stretches for miles.  The town of white buildings and tile roofs buts up against the cliffs.

The photos below show the point where many surfing photos are taken.  I took photos of a couple of original photos taken when the waves were at their highest, more than 50 feet high.  In 2011, surfer Garrett McNamara of Hawaii surfed a record-breaking 78 foot wave at Nazaré.

Marvao, Portugal

Stop #2:

We stopped in Marvão after Tomar, and we couldn’t believe the views of the mountains from the top of the hills (@2,800 feet).  Marvão is a medieval fortress town at the top of a cliff.  The sun was setting and we caught this beautiful town at sunset.  Randy is not a fan of heights, so climbing the fortress walls with no railings was a bit scary.  But he did great and our reward was amazing at the top of the hills.  What a great way to spend our first day in Portugal.

Thanks to Fodor’s Travel Guides, Trip Advisor, and Wikipedia for the great lessons that helped me to plan and summarize this trip.

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