Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2018 Ireland Day Fourteen, Fifteen and Sixteen: Arranmore Island to Ardara to Dublin

Saturday, June 30, 2018 (Go North: Arranmore Island to Ardara (Co. Donegal)

On this morning we make our farewells to Arranmore Island.


To get on with our day, we must board the ferry to leave the island. 

Our van takes us up Mount Errigal for views of the Poisoned Glen and into Glenveagh National Park (Co. Donegal),

The highlight today is Glenveagh Castle, built in the 1870s.

The Castle has spectacular gardens and we spent a lot of time wandering the grounds and enjoying the views.

On we moved to the Portal Dolmen, a megalithic burial site from over 5000 – 6000 years ago. To gain access to this dolmen, we had to enter private land, climb over some fences and walk amongst the donkeys.

Our overnight is Ardara (pronounced Ar-drah), Co. Donegal. Our accommodation is the Nesbitt Arms,

It is another not night during the unusual Irish drought.

Sunday, July 1, 2018 (Glencolmcille Peninsula & Ardara)

Today we are off to Donegal’s Glencolmcille Peninsula which includes a magnificent waterfall and onto one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches.

We hiked onto the beach through the dunes and down the beach to the Maghera caves.

Next we explored the Glencolmcille area. 

Can't we just get along

The famous Irish peat

After our loop, we spend a second night at the Nesbitt Arms, Ardara, Co. Donegal .

Monday, July 2, 2018 (Ardara to Dublin)

Today the door closes on our Northern route as we are on the road back to Dublin today. We actually cross through Northern Ireland on the route back.

One of the coolest ancient figures we saw on this trip were the Boa Island Statues, an island on Lough Erne. These are pre-Christian stone figures whose forms may be related to the Celtic goddess of war.

In the Caldragh Graveyard (Co. Fermanagh) we found these cool figures.

Our next stop today was the Sliabh Na Caillighe (The Hill of the Witch). Here we found the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre (Co. Meath) and its cairns, ancient passage tombs that were spiritual centers for Ireland's first farmers and are older than the Egyptian pyramids--5,000 years old.

To say it was a long uphill walk from the van would be correct

If you have been following all these posts, this is what the portals lead to--a pile of rocks that no one really knows what was the purpose.

Within the main tomb are carvings showing an alignment to the equinoxes making this tomb possibly the oldest celestial calendar on earth.

This night we are back at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin, finishing our second week and the northern route of our vacation.  It is important to get a good night's sleep as tomorrow we are off again--this time through the middle of Ireland.

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