Cliffs of Moher, Ireland (I)

SEPTEMBER 1999 – Four young adults sit high above the sea at the cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

The Cliffs of Moher are most certainly a superior attraction at the west coast of Ireland. They are part of an 18 km hiking trail along the coast, providing breathtaking views along the steep cliffs.

When we were visiting the site in 1999, simple signs warned visitors to be cautious because of the “very dangerous cliffs ahead”. The cliffs are really steep, so steep in fact that several people crawled to the edge and lied down to take a look down!

We were quite late that day but still had enough time (and light) for a number of good shots. This one is evidence that young people seem to be not afraid of anything! Just look at these guys: they should be scared like hell, but they simply look down to observe how the waves clash against the cliffs. There is nothing that could prevent a fall (and thus major injuries or even death), if a crack had unexpectedly torn further open, if they slipped or if they were blown away by a strong gust of wind. Were they brave or stupid? A search for ‘accidents cliffs of moher’ provides the answer.

In any event, times have changed. Today, it is not allowed to enter the area right next to the edge of the cliffs. There are solid metal railings all around the main site, and the simple warnings of the past have been replaced with signs that clearly state ‘DO NOT ENTER’. While it is certainly sad to see yet another natural beauty being ruined by steel railings and fences, it is more than rational to do so. I am scared by just looking at my photo and seeing the risks associated with sitting there, roughly 200 meters high above the sea.

And I’m very glad that nothing happened to these guys.

The high resolution image

Capture DateSeptember 1999
LocationCo. Clare, Ireland
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceMinolta Dimage Scan Elite II
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2507 x 3768 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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