Monday, January 21, 2019

2018 Ireland Day Twelve and Thirteen: Culdaff to Arranmore Island

Thursday, June 28, 2018 (Go North: Culdaff to Rathmullan (Co. Donegal)

Today, once we were in the van, I was able to take a few photos out the windows.

Our route on Inishowen, Ireland's largest peninsula leads us to the northernmost point of Ireland, Malin Head. On the coast, we can still see the rock structures used by Ireland to remind WWII bombers that Ireland was a neutral country and was not to be bombed.


The area still has remnants of the observation points from WWII

More sites used for The Last Jedi

We had a chance to see the Carndonagh Crosses (Co. Donegal). These crosses are at a church site that claims to have been founded by St. Patrick. The current church is from the 18th century but uses a doorway that dates to the 15th century.

The dates of the cross are not known but the designs are similar to the Book of Durrow dating from the 7th century.

Lunch today was in Buncrana (Co. Donegal).  The local paper reminded us of the drought that was affecting all of Ireland.

Wandering in town, we never pass up an opportunity to explore a church, in this case the Parish of Fahan Lower Christchurch.

To get from Buncrana to Rathmullan, we took the Lough Swilly Ferry.

Rathmullan (Co. Donegal), on the shores of Lough Swilly. our home for the night. Rathmullan House is an early 1800s Country Manor House which was sweet to stay in.

Rathmullan has a graveyard so we made a visit.

Rathmullan Priory, built in 1508

Friday, June 29, 2018 (Go North: Rathmullan to Arranmore Island, Co. Donegal)

Today was a very foggy day which added a cool element to what has been a very hot trip. Our first stop was at The Turas and St. Colmcille's Well (Co. Donegal). The well was first a center of worship in Druidic times but the practice was Christianize. The well is associated with St. Colmcille and the turas (journey or pilgrimage) begins on feast of St Colmcille 9th June and ends 17th June.

Our next stop was the Fanad Head Lighthouse (built in 1817) (Co. Donegal) and on a foggy day like this you begin to understand why a lighthouse might be needed.

In case you came by helicopter

Our tour of the lighthouse included cool artifacts from the active days of the lighthouse

Next stop is Doe Castle (Caislean na dTuath) (Co. Donegal). Flanked by water on three sides and a moat in the front, this castle was the stronghold of Clan Suibhne, the Sweeneys.

Then we were off to the Rosguill Peninsula and the town of Carrigart (Co. Donegal) for lunch.

After driving through the Donegal mountains of Muckish and Errigal and we headed down to the  coastal town of Burtonport (Co. Donegal).  Waiting for the ferry proves a good time to find some dockside art.

Now it is time to board the ferry that is going to carry us to Arranmore Island.

Once on Arranmore (Co. Donegal), it is time to explore this dock area.

We joined a local guide for a tour of the island. The population of the island has declined to under six hundred permanent residents.

To our great surprise, this monument connects this island to a sister city in Wisconsin, Beaver Island, settled by immigrants from the Emerald Isle.

This may not seem like a great picture to you, but for me...I finally got a shot of some sheep blocking the road.  Yeah!!!

As we drove up into the island, we came upon a sheep herder and his flock while he was shearing. This was not a planned stop. We know that because this guy was being visited by a neighbor who said to him as we got off the van, " you are going to be a tourist attraction."

What was interesting about this stop was how willing the sheep were to be sheared. During the process, which they volunteer for, they lay docile as the herder does his work.

Things on this island are simple as they actually do not get that many tourists who make the trip over. Perhaps nothing says this more than the fact that our guesthouse does not have a web site. 

Our accommodations was the Ferryboat Guesthouse (Arranmore, Co. Donegal).

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