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Ireland Day 4: O'Donnell Abu!

(the title is also the name of a great song. And, our day started at Donegal Castle and ended at a Middle Eastern restaurant 😀)

storm 55 °F

We had a wonderful night's sleep at our B&B in Mountcharles. It was extremely comfortable and restful. When we got up, there was a delicious breakfast ready for us: brown bread and toast and tea. We had a very nice chat with our host, ranging from Irish history to modern politics to her surprise that the Americans staying in her house all seem to prefer tea to coffee. She gave us a detailed route to follow, along the "wild and rocky hills" (another lyric from another great Donegal-focused song) up the Wild Atlantic Way. We began by going to Donegal Town.
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We found a place to park in Donegal Town. It overlooked this harbor, where the boat in the picture was blasting Meatloaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love." It proceeded to blast other songs of like nature. The machine did not take cards so we had to get cash. The tourist office had a sign that prominently displayed that they do not change money for the parking lot. So, Daniel walked to a bank (AIB) on the Diamond, or main square of Donegal.
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Donegal Castle is really an amazing thing to see.
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According to the cashier at the castle, the Choctaw Nation donated to the Irish during the Famine. This led to connections between them and the Irish.
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Some more images of the Castle. The empty manor house area was built by the Brookes family after the Flight of Earls.
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The Diamond in Donegal. It is sort of a roundabout, sort of a death trap.
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The Catholic Church in Donegal. It has a replica Irish Round Tower.
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Killybegs Harbor. Killybegs is one of the major commercial fishing ports in Ireland. The ships are really impressive to see.
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Outside Killybegs is St. Catherine's well, one of Ireland's many holy wells. These have small sources of water and involve specific prayers that should be said. Catherine had not seen a holy well before, and she was especially interested because this one was St. Catherine's.
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For some reason, there are stuffed animals tied to many signposts and fences throughout Co. Donegal.
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The Wild Atlantic Way: the beautiful coast of Donegal.
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Sheep in the road.
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While driving through the small village of Glencolmcille, we saw signs for St. Colmcille (Columba)'s well. We decided to take the hike up to see it. We left our car near a farmhouse and began walking up the path. It was lightly misting and the sun was high in the sky. We continued up from a gate that had signs pointing towards then well. We never found the well. The hike was quite long and went through empty, desolate bogland. The storm begin to get worse, soaking us and blowing rain in our faces. We kept going. We would walk to the next trail marker and see the next on up another ridge. Eventually, Daniel said he thought it wasn't safe to continue and we started to turn back. However, we decided to go to one more marker. Daniel got there before Catherine: there was a castle up ahead. Catherine caught up and we looked at the castle together. It was beautiful but slightly creepy. The storm was so bad we had to turn back. We wish we could have seen the well, but we had a great time nonetheless. Side note: while Catherine was hiking to catch up with Daniel who had gone slightly ahead she jumped over a little patch of mud. The grassy area she landed on was more mud than grass and she found herself knee deep in a bog. She barely escaped with her shoes. We thought this accidental adventure led to one of the best days of our lives. Just the two of us on a desolate hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with unbelievable views.
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Some pictures of the hike. Can you believe we were all the way up there?
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It's a whole different muscle group going down.
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"Climb to Colmcille's Well they said. It will be fun they said."
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We were so happy to find our cozy car again and get the heater working. We had a wonderful adventure.

We wanted to stop and eat at a pub in Glencolmcille. Unfortunately, they all look were closed. We tried the next village, Carrick, and they were also closed. In Killybegs most places were closed as well. We ended up getting a pizza to go from a small Middle Eastern restaurant, then going back to eat in the parking lot of St. Catherine's well. We had a wonderful day, and we can't wait until tomorrow when we go to Kilkelly to see Daniel's cousins.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:50 Archived in Ireland Tagged church towers castle pizza round glencolmcille colmcille. columba killybegs donegall o'domnell holy_wells Comments (2)

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