Denise and David in Europe 2016
September 19-21
  Ireland - Omagh, Londonderry, Donegal

last updated 22 September 2016
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Monday 19 September - Ballydangan to Omagh via Monaghan

It was a sad but loving good bye to Yvonne, Pat and Hazel as we took the road again. 

The road again.  Hmmmm... Let me go back a day or two. It was just before we arrived at Athlone three days earlier.  About 20 km earlier.  Our fabulous rental car - VW Tiguan... About 20 km before Athlone a giant flash on the dashboard and a beep and a flashing orange icon which looked like an oil can.  Time to get the book out. "Do not turn off your ignition.  If you do, the car will not restart.  Instead, you must add 'Adblu' to the Adblu reservoir immediately."  Don't you love diesel cars!  Well 20 calls to the emergency breakdown people who tried - but did not know what they were telling us later (don't stop the car, stop the car, start the car, go to a garage a buy Adblu, go to the garage and buy more Adblu, hmmm better take it to a VW service centre.  Well the car eventually let us stop it and restart it.  In fact, it started a count down... "only 600km until the car never starts again."  Eventually we got a VW service centre in Athlone to fix the car on this Monday morning. We will be seeking a significant discount off this lemon.  It seems our car rental company ignored servicing to keep the car on the road.  So, our day started a few hours later - and Denise now has more grey hairs.  Oops I didn't say that.  On with the journey.

On route to Omagh via Cavan - I call it the castle in the middle of the lake. Its real name is Lough Outhter Castle and it was built by the Normans.  Not an easy place to find.  Had I been more assertive and followed the brown signage that led to the lake we may have had a better view of it at least.  Nevertheless here is the view we got.  Boats can be hired to take you out to it.  We bypassed the opportunity to do that.  Not sure why but I think it was probably a time related issue or perhaps the castle wasn't open. Shall have to check that.  We have struck a couple of things so far that have not been open.

On route to Omagh via Monaghan.  Not much to see in Monaghan.  However it has fabulous parking rates!

A little bit off the beaten track again we visit Leslie Castle.  The castle is used as a hotel and even though we were not guests of the hotel we were still allowed to look through the ground floor rooms.  It is so 'Harry Potter'

The entry to the foyer of the Castle.

The dinning room.  It had such a woody 19th century smell.

The lounge area

The gardens

Another dining area

A lovely tapestry

Entrance to the Castle which we missed because we ended up coming through the equestrian center.

Time to move on to our B & B for the night in Omagh - Mullaghmore House (pictured below).  Sam Neil was born and raised here and only visited quite recently.  Missed him by 'that much'!

Front entrance that really isn't used.  We entered from around the back.

Our room for the night.

Omagh - Main street.  Nice place.   That church at the end of the street looks pretty impressive.

Here it is up close and personal - and across the road.  Dinner :-)

Boy I was so full after eating here.   Top class food.  Great service.

Tuesday 20 September - Omagh to Londonderry via Londonderry, Moville and Malin Head

An Creggan

This morning we set off in search of tombs and monolithic sites and once again it became a challenge.  These are no ordinary mainstream formal sites so sometimes once you get to a certain location one has to ask a local just where they are located.  There is only so much information that the information centre give you.

Aghascrebagh Ogham Stone (pictured below) reasonably sign posted.  But be careful not to drive too fast or you might just miss it.

In the same paddock about 200 meters away is this standing stone.  A little bit different because it has a stone circle around it.  It also has some markings on the side of it.   

Every group of lines is a letter of the alphabet.  I have the key to the translation from the Dublin Archaeological Museum.

There was one other tomb we did not get to see.  We found it ok as it was reasonably sign posted but the 700 meter walking track resembled the bog that surrounded it.  We gave it a shot but we really needed gum boots at least.  David thought he could soldier on and get me a photo at least but he ended up slipping and falling into the bog itself!  He sloshed back to the car caked in mud - blood pouring of his thumb.  (Pictured below is a much cleaner David in our Londonderry Room in our B & B 'Troy Hall'. Thank you to the management for their kindness and hospitality in helping David get cleaned up.  Yes we hosed him down in the car park!  LOL ...

Ed: David adds that it was quite an experience.  In retrospect, it would have been nice to have taken a picture.  In any case, David recovered.

This is the BEST B & B EVER!!!!!  Views of Londonderry and the room is as big our daughters unit.

The entrance to Troy Hall.  Magnificent is it not?  Our room is the second floor left hand side... those 6 windows across is our room.  The white car in the drive is the car we hired for the trip.

David adds that the car is now full of Adblu!

Our mid afternoon drive took us up the Inishowen Penninsula.  We reached the end of the world - Marlin Head.  Well we had got as far north as you can get in Ireland.  And we had, in fact, driven out of Northern Ireland and back into Ireland during the drive - so we accidentally had the wrong currency with us. Some views of the drive follow.

Views below are taken from Marlin Head.  The new camera was pretty good at zoom.  This island was at least 20k away.

Rugged Marlin Head views

View from the top of Marlin Head.

Rugged beauty of Marlin Head

Pictured above the valley from Marlin Head

Looks like a lone lady on her way to Hell's Hole.

Pretty thatched house along the way.  We spotted quite a few of these.

Yikes...... look out for sheep....... especially the blue ones!  What the heck is that all about?

We got take out tonight.  David finally got his salad.   I could not resist enjoying dinner in our lovely room.

Wednesday 21 September - Londonderry to Donegal via the ring of Donegal and Letterkenny

Today we take off for the rugged north west of Ireland and on to Donegal.

Views along the way.

A great find.  Doe Castle, located on Sheephaven Bay (pictured below)

A closer look.....Castle dates back to 1425.

Graffiti of the era! CVH was carved into the castle by the1800s owner!

Internal view of Doe Castle walls

A great view - the Atlantic Ocean

The Wild Atlantic Way is the road we took for our coastal views.

Welcome to Donegal Castle.   A favourite Castle. We had been here last time we came to Ireland.

A small bedroom and in the background what was called a Garderobe.  Perhaps that is where the term Wardrobe comes from today.  The king would be guarded as he took his constitutional!

View of Donegal town from top of Castle

This technically is the third floor of the castle.  If you look closely you will see where the fourth floor was.  The floor was left out in the Castles restoration to enable a view of the Castles roof.  Huge wooden beams held together with wooden bolts.  In the four corners of the 4th floor were 4 rooms.

Looking down to the second floor of the Castle.  For those who know our 'Studio' at home.... this room was my inspiration.

The Entry hall.

Donegal central from our hotel window

Dinner by Donegal Bay. A lovely way to unwind.

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