…the vast and overwhelmingly tall walls of stone of the Mizen Head Cliffs is as often described as “one of the extreme points on the island of Ireland’.. .
.. . .through the fresh waters of the Celtic Sea south of the Emerald Island, a known transatlantic route passes near the southern irish coastline where from, the Mizen Head cliffs appear as the last sight of Europe…
TodaysWanderluster present’s you, with this week’s article on the Cliffs of Mizen Head,
… would you like to know what else the Irish coastline is famous for? Make sure to check out our first blog article on the Dingle Peninsula “Ireland & Europe’s Westernmost Point ‘The Dingle Peninsula’”
Welcome back to TodaysWanderluster !! It is Friday 18th of September, the day where we will hit the road once again, in search of yet another fascinating place which finds itself burried in the vast lands of beauty of the country of Ireland.
This week we are travelling south to one of the many Irish counties that we haven’t been to before, on our adventures, to discover together one of Cork county’s absolute gems at the coast.
Our this week’s location, Mizen Head.
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Standing high above the celtic,
like castle walls giving protection from an outside dangerous enemy, only searching for destruction and chaos. The wind up here is like a breeze, quite cool so it can be described, and the smell of the salt in the air, the sound of the waves crashing into the hard centuries of old rock that has been gradually disappearing underneath the cold and vast surface of the celtic, the sea that has been carving away the Irish soil, the Irish coastline,
for thousands of years.
‘Carn Uí Néid‘.. as gaeilge,
or ‘Notium’ deriving from ancient greek, or just simply.. .
Located south-west of Cork county in the Irish southern province of Munster at the extremity of the Mizen Peninsula in the region which sits at the district of Carbery.
The vast and overwhelmingly tall walls of stone of the Mizen Head Cliffs is as often described as “one of the extreme points on the island of Ireland’. Through the fresh waters of the Celtic Sea south of the emerald Island, a known transatlantic route passes near the southern irish coastline where from the Mizen Head cliffs appear as the last sight of Europe, for the passengers on board who will be enduring their weeks long voyage of the vast and open fields of blue of the planet’s second largest ocean, that seperates America from the European continent.
Sitting on the route of the famous ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ noted as one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world stretching from the picturesque town of Kinsale in Cork county (Southern Irish province of Munster) then running along the western Irish coastline through many Irish counties until reaching the Inishowen Peninsula in Down county, Ireland’s most northerly point.
The cliffs at Mizen Head, sadly, do not take the title of Ireland’s most southerly point as located just across the water to the east ‘Brow Head’ takes this title, regardless of the known saying..
‘Fair Head to Mizen Head’.
Once on the road to Mizen Head, Barleycove might just be one of the last vestiges of civilization before getting swallowed up in the midst of the world of nature, where a sightful panorama of the unique landscape can be observed at almost every turn.
Stretching out into the Atlantic, amidst the sea chaos and dancing waves dressed in dresses of white and dark blue, we can explore the Mizen Head peninsula, it’s “99 steps” and an old signal station, which has been standing on the very tip of the peninsula that is almost entirely cut-off from the rest of Ireland, standing against the treacherous and chaotic forces of the atlantic for more than 100 years, standing proudly as a symbol or rather a ‘testament’ of man’s determination.
The head or the very tip of the peninsula can almost be regarded as an island, of the coast of the Cork county,
as the only piece of rope that ties this small part of Ireland to the rest of the country is a built bridge in the area that spans over the deep chasm below.
However, a question still remains floating in the air around us. For how long will this bridge be able to represent a shake of hands between these two islands ?
The station situated on the tip of the peninsula was built for the purpose of sending red flags or warnings to the nearby passing ships at the celtic sea of any treacherous rocks that lie near to the shore that could en-danger everyone on board. The once permanently banned signal station is now known as a museum in the area, housing displays that relate to the site’s strategic significance for transatlantic shipping as well as communications, the pioneering efforts of Gulielmo Marconi.
Today, the museum is recognised as an award-winning martime museum on the peninusla, shining a light on the building’s incredible past as a seafarer’s lifesaver. At the signal station, we can discover the Station Keeper’s Quarters, the engine room, the Marconi Radio Room, the Mizen Map collection as well as an underwater wildlife exhibitions.
‘Ireland’s Teardrop’.. .. .
a famous, or rather .. poignant landmark in the area, spotted when looking westwards and found illuminated by the Fastnet Lighthouse, was the last sight observed by the emigrating Irish of their beloved emerald isle home land, as one could see their ship disappear in the vast horizon of the atlantic from the country’s coastline.
The “99 steps” as they are known, are another highlight of Mizen Head one of Ireland’s most dramatic coastal paths which once formed the original access route are now supplemented by a series of paths and viewing platforms from which we can observe the dramatic scenery of the waves crasing into the cliffs, will definetly give you the chills!!
If you feel that the “99 steps” wasn’t enough for you to feel the thrills, we can assure you that what is hidden just a few steps away from you, might just send shivers down your spine. The High arched bridge that we mentioned earlier ‘the only piece of rope that ties’ the signal station to the mainland, is to be crossed at the “mercy of elements”.
Crossing over the bridge may be a difficult or even frightening experience as we are so high up, however the TodaysWanderluster would definetly dis-encourage from crossing it with a blindfold, as besides the fact that that could be dangerous.. one would miss out on just the amazing, not-everyday sights and views that can be discovered whilst on this bridge. Looking down might take some time and courage but it’s well worth it if you spot some or atleast one of the sea’s residents such as the seal, dolphin or a hump-back whale below.
Speaking of animals, some of the birds that could be caught in your eye might include the gannets, kittiwakes or the choughs.
On the other side of the bridge,
situated on a high cliff, stands the Mizen Head Visitor centre from which inside, we can explore all the different martime exhibits like for example the automatic weather station, a scale model of the ramatic Fastnet Rock Lighthouse as well as a navigational aids simulator.
Beneath the blue of the celtic sea, the roaring waves, sheltered by sea caves are the remains of a French frigate from fleet of the 18th century Irish revolutionary leader, known as Wolfe Tone, the ‘L’Impatiente’. A true hidden gem of these southern Irish cliffs.
Today.. Mizen Head in Cork county, is known as a major tourist attraction of Ireland, heavily and strongly noted for it’s dramatic and wild cliff scenery.
Thank you for joining us on this adventure of Mizen Head. We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and found it informative.
Next Week is Photographer’s Week, we will be sharing with you, our ‘Top 10 Best Viewing Points’ on Mizen Head in our article ‘Mizen Head for the Photographers’ in our ‘For the Photographers’ series.
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