No matter how interesting the local attraction, I dislike being herded into areas with 22 large motor coaches and tour groups of all nationalities, holding group tour flags to keep everyone together. Tourists take endless selfies, posing in front of yet another scene with arms stretched out and trying for an impossible glamour shot. Generally these places are closed before the good evening light and are not yet open for the nice morning light. Herd the tourists in, collect their entrance fee and off they go to the next tourist trap, likely never really experiencing the location. The nearby town of Liscannor is a complete traffic jam of people buying and hocking touristy items, searching for a restaurant, or just trying to find a spot to park.
From the main entrance point to the Cliffs of Moher, you can count down the coast four or five more points jutting out in the ocean and see there are fewer and fewer people on each of them. If one wished, you could easily walk a distance and be away from the crowds. But all you get is Moher and More cliffs.
Even worse than a tourist filled place like this is when in some foreign country you pay to see performers dance or perform strictly for the paying tourists, like we did on the China Tour. I am quite certain during that tour I heard 40+ hours of babble about the Ming, Ching and Chang dynasties, not remembering a single interesting or useful fact. I would much prefer to wander the streets on my own, talking to the locals and having some unplanned interaction, maybe I could learn something from them or at least have fun trying. Yesterday in Oban, Scotland, I spoke with a retired school teacher for quite a long time on the merits of Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom and why he will vote for the separation in the coming weeks. You cannot have an experience like that in a museum or bus tour…..
However, for the first-time tourist, such as myself, it seems to be a requirement to at least visit these well-known spots and check them off of the list, possibly opening the door for a better subsequent visit….
I agree with you about talking with the locals and really getting a feel for the people and the country. I feel like I am traveling with you.
We will be there next week! We chose to drive but hopefully that will give us a way to escape the busses.
That is good you get to go to this iconic location. We drove as well, as we never take a tour bus. You will all park in basically the same lot. It is a very spread out area so you are by no means elbow to elbow. As with ALL photography, your results will mostly depend upon the type of light you encounter. Good luck, and good light!