I KNOW…ANOTHER POST ABOUT TEA.
But don’t worry, I will only talk about tea for half of this post. The other half will be dedicated to cliffs…if the title didn’t make that obvious enough.
Last weekend I visited my friend on the West Coast of Ireland, where we spent most of our time in Galway but ventured down to the Burren region to visit the famous Cliffs of Moher. Aside from being reunited with my amazing friend, the two standout points of this trip to Ireland were admiring the gorgeous cliffs along the coast, and enjoying an incredible brunch at an adorable tea shop in Galway.
Most people have seen the iconic photos of the Cliffs of Moher, or heard of their moments of fame in The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Having seen many images of the Cliffs before, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they looked somewhat different in person. I can’t figure out exactly why, but hiking up the cliffs yourself puts a whole new perspective on this stunning landscape.
Though some areas atop the Cliffs were swarming with flies, we powered through and walked quite a long distance along the edge. The day was warm and sunny, which led to incredible views of the sun sparkling on the water and illuminating the vibrant colors of the area. The grass was a rich green, the towering rocks contained layers of different earth tones, the ocean was a deep teal capped with white waves. Walking just a few meters created a new perspective, as the walking path along the edge twisted and turned with the rugged, uneven earth.
Though a thick stone wall stood around the center of the cliffs to prevent silly tourists from falling to their deaths, as we walked further out along the cliffs the wall disappeared, allowing us to sit in the fluffy grass and watch our feet dangle over the massive void between the cliffs and the raging ocean. It was slightly scary but beautiful.
On our drive back towards Galway, we stopped at a few scenic locations to soak up some more breathtaking coastal views. As the sun began to set, its saturated glow reflected on the ocean, and the intense waves crashed against the jagged surface of the massive cliffs. Nature is fascinating.
The following day, we spent the morning wandering through street markets and enjoying the windy harbor of Galway. This day went from wonderful to WONDERFULLY AMAZING as my friend took me to the most precious tea shop I’ve ever seen. The decor of Cupan Tae included embroidery, lace, dolls, flowers, ribbons, porcelain, and any other frilly yet elegant decoration you could think of. If the taste of a cupcake could materialize itself into a tangible space, this is what it would look like.
After sipping incredible tea from delicate china tea sets, I ate the most delicious savory scone served on an equally beautiful china plate. Though my lunch was more than satisfying, I couldn’t stop staring at the pristine display of homemade cakes, pies, and breads. Due to the indulgent food, the lovely selection of fresh teas, and the heartwarming atmosphere, Cupan Tae is now my second favorite tea shop I’ve ever visited (Sirius Teahaz remains at #1, see my post about Budapest for my experience in that magical place).
Galway represents a pleasant waterfront town, with lively bars, personable streets, and a thriving Irish culture. Driving further south along the western coast brings you to hilly landscapes and impressive cliff-side views. Though I only experienced a small area of Ireland, this weekend was gorgeous and relaxing.