Ireland. You really haven’t seen the half of it!
There was a Tourist Board television advertisement for Ireland in the late 1970’s and 80’s, which had the tagline ‘Ireland: You Haven’t Seen The Half of It’.
My Dad took this as a direct challenge and vowed that we would see the half of it and more! Every weekend, bank holiday and summer, myself, my Mum and Dad and the dog, were crammed into the car, touring caravan hitched on the back and set off, often with no particular destination in mind to every corner of this beautiful country.
I like to think I’ve seen a lot of Ireland and was sure that there wasn’t a spot in Donegal where I hadn’t been, but I was proved wrong. On holiday in Rathmullan on the north-west coast of Ireland last week, we discovered the stunning Portsalon beach. Who knew that a mere three hour drive from my house is the world’s second most beautiful beach, as voted by The Observer and beaten only by a beach in the Seychelles!
Sometimes you don’t see the beauty on your front door and with temperatures reaching a blistering 30 degrees last week we could have been anywhere! We paddled in the sea, ate too much, found the greatest junk shop I have ever seen, took a boat trip round Lough Swilly, watched Frozen every day and, of course, had the obligatory pints of Guinness.
So the smoke went up from Rathmullen;
And beyond the trail of the smoke
Was a great deep fiery abyss
Of molten gold in the sky,
And it set a far track up the waters
Ablaze with gold like its own.
Over the fire of the sea,
Over the chasm in the sky,
My spirit as by a bridge
Of wonder went wandering on,
And lost its way in the heaven.
The ship is out on the lake,
The fisherman stands on the deck.
Rosy and violet sea;
Delicate haze in the distance;
Woodlands softer than summers;
Great golden eye of intense,
Concentrated, marvellous light
From A Fine Day on Lough Swilly by Archbishop William Alexander
The weather was so lovely that we got to sit out every evening with a glass of wine and a book, so my 20 Books of Summer Challenge got a much needed boost as I read the sublime (The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell), the ridiculous (Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins) and the downright perplexing (Just Kids by Patti Smith)!
Reviews will follow in the next week but for now I’m still basking in a little bit of that holiday glow!
Uncategorized alfie mccollum donegal flight of the earls holiday lough swillt peadar macs portsalon rathmullan rathmullan abbey the white harte
Cathy746books View All →
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!
Is your dad a country half full or empty kind of person? 😉
My Dad was definitely a half full person. He was always excited about what there was to see that he hadn’t seen before!
What a great attitude 🙂 Nice photos too.
i think that’s where Denis shot “Burning the Bed” .. did you buy anything in the junk shop?
No! I went on the Tuesday and eyed up a few bits and pieces. I called again on Saturday morning on the way home and it was closed! It is the most amazing shop. Dead Men’s suits, books, broken crockery, half empty bottles of holy water. I’m sure there are some treasures in there but you would have to look hard for them! I must watch Burning the Bed again then, see if I recognise anywhere….
i just had a look at the film; it is a nice-looking beach but I think it’s a wee bit different to where you were: http://vimeo.com/15152712 I’ll ask him
Ta, I’ll have a look.
Thanks for sharing- beautiful photos! Glad you had such a great time! It makes me want to go. I have to agree with your sentiment, though, about sometimes not realizing the beauty in our own backyard. We’re usually happy just travelling around Atlantic Canada. We often wonder why we would want or need to go anywhere else. If only everyone felt that way about where they live. 🙂
I tell you what Naomi, let’s swap sometime. I would love to visit Canada!!
Now there’s an idea. Wouldn’t that be fun?
In Germany, when I grew up, the commercials for vacation in Ireland said “once you’ve been here, you’ll always come back.” My parents, sister, and I spent three wonderful weeks in County Cork (where we went from huddling in front of the electric heater to sweating at the beach), and while we weren’t able to go back, I’m just waiting for my kids to get a little older to bring them. Ireland definitely pulls on me.
County Cork is a really beautiful spot for sure. The weather in Donegal is usually dull. With rain and cloud. But we had hot, sunny days for a week and it was wonderful!
Fabulous pictures. I love Ireland and haven’t seen anywhere near enough of it. This has made me want to go again!
It really is a beautiful place to live!
very nce, have been to Ireland twice and been overwhem
ed by history and beauty combined
Those pictures are gorgeous. I’ve only been to Ireland twice. We went to Dublin for a few days and also visited some friends in Roscommon (sorry, probably not the correct spelling!). We visited some lovely places but not Donegal- so an excuse to go back and whilst there take a look at this lovely beach! We were commenting on this to somebody a few days ago that you visit lots of other places whilst missing the beauty that’s right under your nose!
You’re right, it’s Roscommon! There really are some lovely spots around the coast of Ireland, we’re very lucky.
Sounds fantastic! I am craving beach time having been in Alaska since May.