This area is known for it’s knitting mills and shirt making factories. I made a stop at Rossan Knitwear where I could have purchased sweaters for every member of my family but didn’t. But if Fisherman Out of Ireland had been open, I would have bought everything they had! What wonderful knitwear this local company designs and sells.
Now it was time to drive to the top of the cliffs. I was told not to use the car park at the bottom but open the cattle gate and drive up to the very top (2000+ feet) and I would find another car park there. Let me tell you how much a 4-cylinder Kia does not like going straight up – and neither does its driver! Again, an extremely narrow, one-lane road going up and up and up, all the way to the top of the cliffs. I started in 2nd gear but had to shift down and did the majority of the drive up in 1st, gripping the steering wheel so hard I had to pry my fingers off when I finally reached the top.
I stepped out of the car and was greeted with the above view. The morning fog was hugging the very tops of the cliffs, but the sun was shining brightly and it soon disappeared and welcomed a gloriously clear day.
I chose these two photos specifically to show you that OSHA hasn’t been heard of in Ireland – or Europe for that matter. You can easily put yourself in my shoes and imagine where I am standing to take these photos. Do you see any fences or guard rails protecting the observer from falling off the cliffs? In the States, we wouldn’t be able to get within 20 ft of the edge but I wasn’t even 20 inches. European countries believe you should be smart enough to make decisions about your personal safety and it you do fall off the edge, then stupid you, it isn’t their responsibility.
Sieve League (Sliabh Liag) was absolutely beautiful. It was well worth the drive up and the almost-as-scary ride back down. The weather gods cooperated and it was a perfectly beautiful day. What else was amazing was the sea – it was completely flat – like a mirror reflecting the sky. The normally ‘wild’ and angry Atlantic was taking a breather and enjoying the calm day as much as I, and the rest of the sightseers were.
After a drive through the town of Donegal and around the O’Donnell stronghold, I followed the WWW signs to Bundoran-on-the-Sea where I would spend my last night on the Wild Atlantic Way at Rockpool House Air BnB. It was raining and cold but I had dinner at the great pub. Everything is better with a delicious hamburger, chips, and a pint.
The next morning I turned away from the west coast of Donegal and headed toward Dublin with my destination being the village of Virginia in County Caven. I had been invited by a friend to stay at her ancestral home and be part of the celebration of her 70th birthday. Along the road, I just happened to see a sign that said Castle and I did a quick u-turn and was thrilled to find not only the ruins of Tully Castle but had the entire place all to myself!
|Click on the photo to enlarge and read the history of the castle|
I would spend the next 6 days in a lovely, 18th century home, still a working farm, helping to chop, cook, clean and get ready for approximately 100 guests, and then assist in the clean-up afterward. This was my way of ‘re-paying’ for the owner’s generous hospitality.
The party was a great success. Plenty of food, plenty of whiskeys and strong tea, and plenty of music and song. I didn’t make it till when the last guest left at 3:30 a.m., but I did fall asleep with the sounds of a beautiful Irish tenor voice drifting upstairs and into my room.