Céad Meile Fáilte is an Irish saying meaning “Wish you 100,000 welcomes,” according to the kids guidebook we received on the first day of our tour. My family and I took The Emerald Isle Adventures by Disney tour of Ireland in 2008 (adventuresbydisney.com). This tour exceeded our expectations, which were high to start with and was not overloaded with Disney. The tour did a great job of keeping the kids interested and involved. We visited Dublin, Cashel, and Killarney, seeing many different sites ranging from the Guinness Storehouse to Trinity College. We also made scones and learned how to Irish step dance.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Ireland is known for being associated with the color green and Irish grass is very green. The green grass comes from lots of rain, which we experienced a little. Most of the bad weather came on the day we were scheduled to visit the Cliffs of Moher. The bus ride to the cliffs was very sunny, but as we arrived, it started to rain. The majority of the tour, including my mom, decided to go inside the building to wait for the weather to improve. Those left included me, my sister, and my dad, and we were ready to brace the weather. We put on our Adventures by Disney ponchos and started up the steps to reach the viewing area.
Many steps led to the viewing area across from the cliffs. As we climbed higher, the weather worsened. The rain was coming down diagonally and the wind was picking up, blowing our ponchos every possible way. We saw members of our tour ahead of us and were relieved to see they did not seem to be as affected by the weather at the top. But we first had to survive the rain and wind before reaching the calmer weather.
The wind was blowing the fastest and the hardest during the last 20 feet up to the viewing area. My dad, my sister and I had to stand at 45 degree angles in order to keep climbing the steps. At one point the force of the wind was so strong that my sister and I could not move. My dad had to hold on to my ten year old sister so that she literally would not blow away. The strength of the wind really seemed like it could be capable of carrying her away over the small fence.
Finally, we were able to reach the top and walk upright as usual. The journey down to the welcome building was not half as bad. My dad did get some nice pictures and we had a beautiful view of the Cliffs across the water so the climb was worth it. The saying, “It’s not the destination, but the journey,” can definitely be applied to the amazing experience I had with the Cliffs of Moher.
Unfortunately, my sister and I were not able to snap any photos because of the wind and our focus on the hard challenge of walking. I decided to include a photo I took of Dromoland Castle, the place the Adventures by Disney tour stayed the last few nights of the trip. Staying in a castle was awesome and a fun ending to the trip, connecting our present tour to parts of Ireland’s past. The night before we left the castle everyone said Slân or "farewell" to us, but I felt like I would always be welcomed back to Ireland.
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