Tuesday, October 08, 2019

This and That in Northernmost Ireland

Upon our arrival at Malin Head Sunday night, we knew right away where we were going to spend the one night on the itinerary which had been intentionally left open.

This area definitely offers an abundance of opportunities for outdoor lovers, including geocaching.  Bill found two caches during our travels yesterday. 

Virtually every square inch of the area is alive with beauty, so having a second day to explore suited us just fine. 

Be it ocean waves chopping against huge rock formations and spewing up foam, cute donkeys, adorable sheep and colorful cattle in deep lush, green grass or even a sky constantly changing with squalls one minute and bright sunshine the next: the Malin Head area is a continuous sight to behold.

So behold we did at Malin Head proper where viewing platforms or a trail winding up and down the hillside provide endless moments  of contemplating:  is this the prettiest place I’ve ever seen, or is there more?  

Let me tell you that thought arose often yesterday.

We also took another trip to Buncrana and visited Scoil Mhuire where  some of my mother’s artwork was presented to the school a few years ago.  

It was noon break at the school.  As we walked in the door, students in their brightly colored and sophisticated uniforms were eagerly beating a trail to their usual gobbling and gabbing venues.

I remembered a few staff members but was particularly hoping to meet Nikki in person.  Nikki, a longtime office staff member, had done the advance work and coordinated our visit in 2014. Unfortunately, at the time, she suffered an appendicitis attack and had to have surgery so we never met her.

It didn’t take long to feel like we’d known her forever---definitely an Irish standard.  We ended up visiting for almost an hour.  When we left,  students were back in class and some quite happy to wave at us from their classrooms as we walked back to our car.

Another highlight of the day came during a visit to a church and cemetery on our route to visit some strands/beaches.   Nikki and others had told us that the Doherty’s and McLaughlin’s dominate the general population in the area.

When we strolled through the rows and rows of impressive tombs,  we quickly noted that a Sullivan, a Collins or a Kelly might face an uphill battle in an election if a Doherty or McLaughlin would choose to run.

Of local interest, we did see a gravestone for a Bonner. 

We met yet another friend at the parking lot where a trail goes to the beaches.  

With its Liam-like stature, a tri-colored Border Collie met us and accompanied us from our car to the beach.  Two locals told us they didn’t own the dog.  Must belong to some farmer around here, on man said.

Whatever the case, the friendly dog gave us a touch of home.  It won’t be long before that wonderful moment comes when our own much-beloved dogs greet us and let us know we are truly home.

Still a few days to go, though, and much to do and see.

BTW:  our Border Collie count through Ireland stands at 13.  We hope to see more.  As for sheep, we quit counting several counties ago.

Happy Tuesday. Enjoy the photos.

Many, many thanks to Caitriona, Maura, Sean and the gang at Sea View Tavern and B and B.

We appreciated our room and all the extras you provided in making us feel totally at home.

God willing, we'll be back some day. 

Virginia and her mother Genevieve from Marseilles, France, were among many enjoying the Malin Head trail during our visit yesterday. 

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