In the beginning of our year abroad we directly went for another house hunt. One week after our arrival we had a first viewing in Kilrush – a small town right on the river Shannon that soon flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Since the sleepy place has little to offer at this time of year, we then visited the more busy Kilkee – a lively coastal resort during the holiday season. We could watch the sea from the sunroom of the charming restaurant of the Stella Maris Hotel there and enjoyed the timid spring sunbeams. The people here diligently decorated for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day.
By accident and with a bit of luck, we were able to see another house the next day although the property management we asked actually only rents holiday homes in Lahinch. The cottage near the neighboring market town had everything we wanted: a garden, a bathtub, a fireplace and enough space for us and our guests. Moreover, it was not far from Lahinch and therefore only a stone’s throw away from the coast. We didn’t find a house that met all the criteria and was still in our budget previously, but this time we were lucky! Actually, we didn’t even have to sleep over it but we didn’t tell until the next morning – just in time before someone else wanted it, as we learned afterwards. It can all happen so fast. As usual in Ireland, we were given the lease against a handshake and a cash payment of the deposit immediately – no complicated application process or hassle. The house was now ours – yeah, now we can really get started! We had enough time to explore the beautiful surroundings in peace now until it was to move in about a week later…
We drove to Ennis, the administrative centre of County Clare and the so-called boutique capital of Ireland, for the first time. A small, colorful shop hugs the next one and everywhere there is something new to discover. While there are only three smaller attractions – the Daniel O’Connell Monument, the Ennis Friary and the Clare Museum – it’s a great place to stroll around and get all you need.
This Beach again
As already mentioned, we cannot get enough of the beach in Lahinch because the sea is different every time and always offers a different view. Almost always you can see more or less many water sports enthusiasts, especially surfers, who venture daringly into the still very cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean – of course only with a wet suit. Sometimes you can see some crazy people who are swimming there in winter only with swimming trunks on!
Standing on the Edge of the Cliffs of Moher
Our second visit to the famous Cliffs of Moher shouldn’t be to the overcrowded tourist spot but to the less-known side, from where you have an equally breathtaking view (which is less famous) – the so-called Hag’s Head. You have to drive over narrow, branched side roads and hike longer, but you save money and have the cliffs almost to yourself – at least at this time of year! We got up early in the evening so we could see the sunset from there. Once again it was confirmed why we remembered this place as a highlight. Have you ever stood on the (unsecured!) edge of such high cliffs and just enjoyed the wind and the amazing view? A feeling of freedom. By the way, the Cliffs of Moher are the most visited natural attraction in Ireland. They are between 120 and 214 meters high at the highest point. The highest cliffs in Ireland are elsewhere though; the Slieve League in Co. Donegal with a maximum height of 601 meters and the cliffs of Croaghaun on Achill Island in Co. Mayo are even up to 664 meters high. However, these are barely tapped and therefore less known. But who knows, maybe we’ll explore them soon!