Monday, January 13, 2014

Wild Atlantic Way Day Three

Well rested, we started our day with another full Irish breakfast with kippers, bacon rashers, black and white puddings, smoked salmon and eggs. Fantastic.

After a quick stop to pick up a defibrillator, we set off to continue our journey towards Donegal.

 Having met up with Brian, we set off for our first stop of the day to visit with Susan Kellett at her grand ancestral home of Enisco House in the Sligo County.  We enjoyed a lovely private tour of the grounds and the residence, and she regaled us with stories of the family and some of the changes that have happened to the estate over the years.  The grounds and parts of the house are open to the public during the warmer months, and there is a visitors center where one can research genealogical data, and ancestry, a valuable resource for the local population.

Then we were off to Ceide Fields to visit one of the most interesting archealogical sites in Ireland. 
The coastal scenery in this area rivaled that of the cliffs of Moher, with promontories jutting out into the raging ocean, striated cliffs catching the sunlight, and mist rising over the adjacent fields. Breathtaking!

We were greeted at the Ceide Fields visitor center by Greta the head archeologist at the site.  Her enthusiasm and knowledge were inspiring and we learned so much about the earliest settlers 5000 years ago.  Yes  I said 5000 years ago! It was  also fascinating to hear about the process of the digs in the ancient peat bogs and how deductions about civilations past are made based on carbon dating, archeological finds and locations.

Heads swimming, Brian escorted us to the most amazing luncheon spot in Ballintra, an old converted ice house on the river, converted into a spa/hotel/bistro.  The river is one of the most famous for salmon fishing in the UK (hence the icehouse).  Lunch was fantastic, the fish and chips were AWESOME!!! That defib came in handy!!!

Parting ways with Brian we headed on up to Donegal, but alas we could not make our final scheduled tour of Donegal Castle as the we were slowed down by icy driving conditions, but better safe than sorry.  The scenery as we approached Donegal was impressive as well, and it was interesting to see the area from which Yeats wrote and his burial site.  

It was a long day of driving so we turned in early after a quick bite at our hotel, anticipating the adventures of the coming day…

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