My OE - Ireland                                           
JULY 2003
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County Donegal

Sat 26-Jul 03	Ballyshannon - Dunfanaghy (Co. Donegal)

Had a look at the Donegal Parian China Visitor Centre in Ballyshannon and then popped across into Northern Ireland briefly to the Belleek China factory.

Headed up into Donegal (town) which like a quaint little place - stopped just to take a quick photo of the castle and then carried on our way west through Mountcharles, Killybegs, Kilcar etc, with lovely views of Donegal Bay.  Visited Slieve League, which are amazing sheer cliffs, not unlike the Cliffs of Moher.  Back to Carrick on our way north to Glencolumbkille/Rossan Point and then through the lovely Glengesh pass (a bog covered glaciated valley) before Ardara.

 

Co. Donegal

Donegal Castle, Donegal

Kilcar, Co. Donegal

Slieve League, Co. Donegal

Glengesh Pass

Followed the coast up, through 'The Rosses' and popped inland to photograph the volcanic looking cone of Errigal near Gweedore (sounds like something out of Harry Potter).  Back to the coast and drove Bunbeg, to Bloody Foreland, to Dunfanaghy, past some nice beaches and a big sand spit near Magheraroarty (how's that for a mouthful?).  This was a nice enough drive but for some reason we had expected it to be absolutely stunning because this is the one area that most tourists rave about as being extremely beautiful - it might be in it's own right but it has a lot of competition from the rest of the country, most of which we had seen first, perhaps to Donegal's disadvantage!

Mt Errigal, Co. Donegal

Magheraroarty Sandspit

Peat Bog being stacked to dry

At Dunfunaghy we drove out to Horn Head which was very pretty and desolate - could see Tory Island, which has it's own King! (couldn't see the King from this distance!).  Stayed in a B&B just out of Dunfunaghy.

Dunfunaghy, Co. Donegal

Dunfunaghy Beach

Horn Head

Horn Head

Horn Head

Sun 27-Jul 03 	Dunfanaghy (Co. Donegal) - Swords (Co. Dublin)

After a lovely breakfast of homemade scones (organic, but still tasty!) we headed further north into Donegal county.  We were seriously running short of time with having to return to Dublin this evening for work tomorrow, and quite a bit of the county left to see.  We headed off to see the Rosguill Peninsula and would make the rest up as went along depending on time.

Headed inland towards Carrigart and out onto Rosguill Peninsula, passing the recently restored Doe Castle.  This peninsula was very small (about 15km round trip) but very isolated and scenic (despite raining and getting heavier), with lovely sandy bays filled with Currachs (traditional Irish wooden framed boats covered in leather/canvas and coated in tar).  Some of the best views we had seen in Donegal so far!  

Doe Castle, Co. Donegal

Rosguill Peninsula

Rosguill Peninsula

No time left to visit Fanad Head (next peninsula along) so headed further south east and decided at the last minute to leave the Inishowen Peninsula (northern-most point of Ireland - ironically above Northern Ireland) and visit Glenveagh National Park instead (the green patch under the DONEGAL county name on the map above) despite the weather getting worse by the minute.

At the moment we entered the park the clouds parted, the sun came out and it turned into a lovely day!  Glenveagh National Park looked absolutely stunning with the wet hills, rocks etc glistening in the sunshine.  High green hills, rocky cliffs, bogland, lakes, mountains etc - an extremely scenic drive.  We did an entire circuit of the park, through Gweedore, Dungloe, Doocharry (and a slight unintentional detour to Fintown), Glendowan and then back to the beginning and out to Termon again.  A very nice end to our weekend away.  Turned towards Letterkenny and the rain again, on Strabane, Omagh etc and on towards Dublin city.

Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal

Glenveagh National Park

Saw the movie 'Veronica Guerin' in Santry - very good movie and interesting in that it was based and filmed in Dublin and so recognised various scenes.

Thu 31-Jul 03	Dublin

Jason had an Interview with Microsoft today for a 10 month contract.  To save you the anticipation, he was offered the job on 6th August, and starts on the 25th!


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