Our planet, as we now know, is a sphere. I have never faulted our ancestors for the fallacy of the world being flat. There are simply certain places in the world that seem to be on the edge. Places where geography, both political and natural, conspire to create a sense of being at the brink of nothing. When the Roman Empire finally collapsed and its civilization was overrun by barbarian hordes, monks went to what was to them beyond the edge of the known world. They went to Ireland.
The Cliffs of Moher, even without a historical context, are a stunning sight. They tower up over seven hundred feet from the sea and, mixed with the breathtaking scenery common to Western Ireland, their majesty and beauty haunts the soul. Standing on the tops of them, we know now that the new world lies across the wide Atlantic. Yet, for a long, long time, these cliffs were at a place beyond which there were thought to be dragons and the immensity of sea stretching on seemingly forever overwhelmed those standing there. For a fugitive scholar, running from the knowledge crushing time of the dark ages, this was as far a place to run to as there was. In modern times, the Cliffs of Moher are no more than perhaps a four hour drive from Dublin. Stand on those cliffs even today though and you will know what it feels like to imagine eternity stretched out before you. A word of warning, make sure to look at the weather report before you go. A thick fog, not uncommon in Ireland, can make the cliffs one of the best sights you’ll ever not get to see.
IMAGES VIA: celesteh